I’m gonna tell you fascists, You may be surprised
The people in this world, Are getting organized
You’re bound to lose, You fascists bound to lose!!!
Akhil Gogoi, leader of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), has been booked under the National Security Act (NSA) on 25 September 2017. A total of 122 cases against him have been clubbed together under the NSA including charges like “giving protection to illegal foreigners in Kaziranga National Park,” “having links with ULFA and the Maoists,” “instigating people to take up arms against the government” during his address in a Mass Rally on 12th September at Moran, etc. Gogoi was arrested on fabricated charges of sedition on 13 September and is currently lodged in Dibrugarh jail in Assam. He has been arrested for old cases registered in Guwahati, Jhaklabanda, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Golaghat, etc. None of the cases are new but have been included to accuse him of instigating against the State for some time.
Last year, Gogoi was arrested and incarcerated in various jails for 78 days since 2 October for protesting against forceful evictions and police killings of citizens in Kaziranga as well as raising his voice against the communally motivated Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The state government booked him with serious charges – criminal conspiracy, rioting, being armed with deadly weapons, attempt to murder, and resorting to assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty. In addition, he had also been sentenced to prison in connection to cases registered against him in 2015, 2013 and 2006.
Why is Akhil Gogoi being repeatedly incarcerated by the current government? Why is NSA being slapped on him? Why is the BJP so afraid of Akhil Gogoi and KMSS, the largest and left-leaning social movement in Assam in the twenty first century? What is the threat that Akhil Gogoi is posing to the Indian State?
We have been observing that the current regime is not only afraid of social activists trying to raise voices against communalism and the injustice and oppression meted out to people by the BJP–RSS, but is ruthlessly misusing state apparatuses to silence its critics and oppositions. If one goes through this maze of arrests, re-arrests, one can easily identify the malafide and nefarious design of the current BJP-RSS regime to catch Akhil Gogoi in loop of extended prison terms so as to stifle any voices of dissent and difference. It is not that Akhil Gogoi has directed all his energies towards resisting the anti-people policies and actions of this government. He was a staunch critic of the previous Congress government as well. The erstwhile Tarun Gogoi led Congress government in Assam had also slammed cases against him. But, it seems that there is a difference between the arrests then and now. The new government is working like a fascist one. The Supreme Court had observed in a recent verdict that opposition to the policies of the government cannot be treated as an act of treason. But, the process of arresting Akhil and the bid to lengthen his jail term indicate that the government is treating opposition to its policies as acts of treason.
The BJP–RSS are well aware with the mass support KMSS have and their capacity to mobilise masses. It seems the BJP government is very afraid of Akhil Gogoi and other such mass leaders in Assam and rest of India who oppose and call out on the government’s nefarious designs against people. Therefore, this regime has left no stone unturned to stop Akhil and KMSS. As a result, Akhil is being repeatedly arrested and imprisoned. NSA becomes a handy tool for the government to silence any dissent, criticism and opposition to itself. The use of NSA is a gross travesty of justice, and a blatant political misuse of police and criminal justice system by the BJP Government in Assam to muzzle voices of dissent. What threatens it is packaged as a threat to the government. Typical of a fascistic regime, it collapses the distinction between country, nation and the government and the State. This current regime, which has no respect for constitutional processes and behaves in quite the opposite direction of democratic ideals and values, is hell bent on creating a no country for those who oppose or even criticise it. While it continuously absolves all those elements, including ITSELF, which actually threaten the society and the country, it unleashes all its power towards sections and movements in the country which uphold people’s rights and equality. It is in fact the BJP–RSS who are the real threats to national security, and not activists like Akhil Gogoi.
If a person like Akhil Gogoi and the likes of him are conveniently booked under NSA, it is not very distant future when everyone else ‘harbouring’ such ideas may all be behind bars and moving in a loop from one case to another. Unknown to most of the country he may be, his incarceration is evident of a rule that potentially subsumes each one of us.
Statement issued by – Delhi Action Committee for Assam