Skip to main content

Top Assam rights leader's 'repeated' arrest undemocratic, violates natural justice

Akhil Gogoi
Counterview Desk
A statement, issued by 28 concerned citizens of India, well-known literary critic Hiren Gohain, academic and politician Yogendra Yadav, and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan has deplored the “deliberate circumvention” of the norms of natural justice in detaining Akhil Gogoi, a peasant leader and Right to Information activist from Assam, in case after case to make the bail orders ineffective.
Calling the detention of Gogoi “undemocratic and unjust”, the statement, signed by 30 activists and professionals, says that, despite illness, hehas not been hospitalised and the authorities have been merely making rounds of the Medical College, always taking him at a time in the late afternoon when only junior Doctors are present.

Text:

We, the following citizens of India are deeply worried about the consequences for Indian Democracy of the callous attitude of the state of Assam in the matter of continuous detention of Akhil Gogoi, a social activist of repute, through repeated arrests on various cases despite being granted bail by Courts.
His ordeal began on September 13, 2017 when he was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) because of a speech made in a meeting. As the “Times of India” reported on December 21m 2017, the NSA charges were based on 12 cases registered against him in various police stations of Assam.
The Gauhati High Court quashed the detention order. However, the government remained vindictive and kept on bringing charges against him which the government failed to prove in any courts of law. The recent detention of him began when he organised anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Assam. He was arrested from Jorhat on December 12, 2019 by police and was then handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The NIA failed to charge-sheet him within the mandatory 90 days and therefore the NIA Special Court granted him bail. That was challenged in the Gauhati High Court but a stay was refused by the High Court. He remained in jail despite the grant of bail because the Sibsagar police rearrested him immediately, in a case registered a year back.
He was then taken by Sibasagar police on March 19 and kept under four-day police custody. On March 26 Gogoi was granted bail in another case by the Panbazar police station (crime branch). The case was registered in January and was, once again, related to anti-CAA protest violence.
However, before he could be released, the Dibrugarh district’s Chabua police station some 400 km away from Guwahati, cited a ‘shown arrest’ on March 28 in connection with a case number 290 without physically producing him before courts. The shown arrest by Chabua police station on March 28 coincided with Gogoi being granted bail in a Sibsagar police station-related case, filed between December 11 and 12, also allegedly related to anti-CAA violence. 
Higher judiciary needs to intervene  to protect the human rights of activists who try to correct apparently unwise actions of any government
During the time of bail, the advocates representing the government side did not inform the court about the cases lodged against Akhil Gogoi at other police stations of the State. It was the duty of the advocate representing Government to inform the court about the same.
Hiren Gohain, Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav
By repeatedly re-arresting Gogoi, the police have violated the personal liberty of the activist. This practice of re-arresting accused in old cases, when the charge sheets could not be filed in any major charges, is an attempt at circumventing the judicial scrutiny of executive actions. 
It of course is a gross violation of the norms of natural justice. The higher judiciary needs to intervene to protect the human rights of activists who try to correct apparently unwise actions of any government.
Gogoi's health has also been deteriorating and the jail authorities have not been giving him proper treatment as a result the NIA special court had to order a check up and also constitute a medical board to monitor his health. Despite illness Gogoi has not been hospitalised and the authorities have been merely making rounds of the Medical College always taking him at a time in the late afternoon when only junior doctors are present.
We fear that something serious might happen to him, particularly, when the Supreme Court has asked authorities to release even some convicts because of the spread of coronavirus. The arrests are not innocuous.
These are instances of blatant abuse of power by the government of the day. We urge upon the higher judiciary to take suo motto action on this matter. The government must be prevented from using such tactics to fight political opponents. This is a tactic that breaks all norms of democratic governance.
---
Click here for signatories

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

Madhya Pradesh tops India's 145 instances of 'anti-Christian atrocities' this year

Counterview Desk  A report prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), founded in 1951 as the national alliance of evangelical Christians of the Protestant denomination, in its just-released report, “Hate and Targeted Violence against Christians in India: Half Yearly Report 2021”, has said that an analysis of 145 cases of violence it has documented against Christians, mainly by non-state actors, “stems from an environment of targeted hate.”

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Demolition drive: Why aren't high-end hotels, farmhouses treated same way as Khorigaon?

By Our Representative A public hearing, sponsored by the civil rights group National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) to hear the affected citizens of Khorigaon, off Faridabad, Delhi NCR, has seen local people complaining how their houses are being demolished even as the entire area was converted into a prison through heavy police deployment.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How BSF, police, court turned Bangladeshi woman slave victim into accused in crime

Counterview Desk  Civil rights leader Kirity Roy has strongly objected to the manner in which the Border Security Force (BSF) , the police and the judiciary in West Bengal have treated a 35 years old Bangladeshi woman victim of human trafficking, who was subjected to sexual exploitation for 15 long years, has been declared guilty of violating the Foreigners Act, violating all human rights norms.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people. 

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Covid impact on menstrual cycles? Young girls 'relapsing' back to unhygienic old-cloth rags

By Dr Sudeshna Roy*  Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world in health and economic shock. Combating this public health crisis has diverted development resources earmarked for adolescents and the youth. India; having world’s second largest population; 1.38 crores as per UN mid-year 2020 estimation, also shelters the largest adolescents and young adult population, which at 243 million constitute 20% of the world’s 1.2 billion adolescent population.