Assam RTI activist Akhil Gogoi’s residence in Guwahati was raided by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday morning. Gogoi, who has been protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Assam, was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) earlier this month.
Gogoi has been accused of having links with a banned Maoist group. The agency says he used the anti-citizenship law movement in Assam to help the Maoists establish a base in the state, the probe agency officials have claimed.
According to NDTV, the NIA seized Akhil Gogoi’s old laptop and several documents, including RTIs filed by him today, his wife Karabi Gogoi said. “They also took a diary that he wrote when he was jailed the last time. He wanted to write a book on his experiences in jail. We requested the officials to let us keep a copy but they didn’t allow,” she said.
Gogoi was arrested on December 12 amid widespread protests against CAA across the state. Five days later, he was sent to the NIA custody by a special court in Guwahati.
On Monday, 93 students, including 52 women, were detained from outside Assam Bhawan as they were demanding the release of RTI activist. Amid heavy police deployment and barricading even before the protesters reached the venue, the students claimed that they were detained as soon as they began their agitation.
The police said that they were detained and taken to the Mandir Marg police station. The protest call was given by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU). The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader has been protesting against the citizenship law since last year.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act is the first law to make religion a criterion for Indian citizenship. The government says the CAA will help non-Muslims minorities who fled religious persecution in Muslim-dominated Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh get Indian citizenship easily. However, critics say the law discriminates blatantly against Muslims and so, is completely against secular principles enshrined in the constitution of India.