With his Health Rapidly Deteriorating How Safe is Akhil Gogoi in Jail?
Demanding her son’s freedom, a mother’s heartfelt lamentation, “I want to get a glimpse of him. Why has he been confined for such a long time? Even I don’t keep well. Akhil is not well and yet he is not being provided any medical assistance.”
Priyada Gogoi, who is currently bed-ridden requests for her son and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi’s release.
The leader of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) who was arrested in a case for his alleged links with the CPI (Maoist) and is still in judicial custody in the Guwahati Central Jail is reportedly suffering from stomach ache and fever. He was arrested by the police in the wake of protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act on 12th December right from the venue where the protests were taking place.
He has been complaining of ill health for the past two months and had been admitted to the hospital three times in just one month. Now it has been alleged that he cannot even stand properly and is completely bed-ridden inside the jail due to lack of proper treatment.
He was admitted to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) on 25th February after he complained of severe pain. However, he was sent back to the jail after the initial health checkup.
In a media interaction Gogoi said, “I feel I should have been admitted to the hospital today as I am not keeping quite well. I was prescribed spectacles because of eye problems. Also because of my slip-disc problems, the severe back pain has kept me bed-ridden. But due to the government’s intervention I am not being given adequate medical help.”
Many of the KMSS workers and well wishers have expressed grave concern at Gogoi’s statement. Praying for his good health the supporters have also condemned the conspiracy cooked against the peasant leader by the ruling party. However many others have expressed concern that the party workers have not done enough to fight for his release.
Speaking to G Plus, Lakhya Jyoti Gogoi, Vice President of Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti (CMSS) said, "We are trying our level best for the release of our leader through legal procedures."
“However Akhil Gogoi has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and is being question by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). As such bail petition cannot be filed for the three months. However, when the bail petition will be filed after 3 months he might be released within 6 months,” he added.
He further added, “The government has also booked Akhil Gogoi under 4 more cases, for which 13 of our advocates have been deployed. As of today 47 cases have been registered against KMSS and 23 members have already been arrested. Many are currently being released on bail.
Total cases against KMSS in various districts:
Tinkusia – 2, Dhemaji – 7, Lakhimpur – 1, Sonitpur – 1, Darrang – 1, Dhubri – 1, Goalpara- 1, Bongaigaon – 2, Udalguri – 1, Charaideu – 2, Sivasagar – 2, Jorhat -5, Golaghat – 2, Morigaon – 2, Kamrup (M) – 3, Kamrup (R) – 1, Karimganj – 1.
The other cases: NIA - 1, CID - 1.
Apart from NIA (Crime Branch), cases against Akhil Gogoi have also been registered in Jorhat PS, Teok PS, Sibsagar Sadar PS, Gourisagar PS, Chabua PS and Dibrugarh Sadar PS.”
“Many of our KMSS leaders are being individually called for questioning. Moreover, we are not given permission to stage any protest and even when permission is granted not more than 100 people whose identities are recorded by the police are allowed.”
Lakhya Jyoti Gogoi has alleged that the media and the general public have not adequately voiced the issue of Akhil Gogoi's release.
Akhil’s brother, Manoj Gogoi, who went to meet him in the jail on 2nd March last, was left devastated on seeing the former’s health.
Speaking to media he said, "The person whom I came to interact with could not even come up to meet me as he was bed-ridden. I had to return with tears in my eyes. I meet with Bittu Sonowal, Manash Konwar and Dharjya Konwar who informed me that Akhil could not even get up from his bed ever since he had returned from the hospital on February 29, 2020."
He further said the BJP government is trying to suppress the “rebellious voice” of the people. Manoj further alleged that the government is trying to push Akhil Gogoi to his death.
As per reports, proper nutritious food is not being served inside the jail.
Former KMSS leader and State Congress spokesperson, Kamal Kumar Medhi said, "Akhil Gogoi’s health is rapidly deteriorating. Although I have asked GMCH to provide proper medical treatment to him, he was sent back only after a cursory health checkup.
“He is a prominent voice of our society. The government is playing politics over him.”
It has to be mentioned that with Gogoi's deteriorating health, his family is devastated and his son has not been attending school for the last 3 months.
Earlier Akhil's wife, Gitashree Tamuly, could not meet him in the jail even after waiting for an hour.
Speaking to media she said, "Jail officials informed me that he could not come to meet me because of his ailing health. I will wait for legal procedures for his release."
As such Akhil Gogoi’s relatives and his well wishers have raised question on his safety in judicial custody.
However, following NIA court's directives, a team of doctors visited the ailing leader inside the jail on 4th March last. The directive came after Gitashree Tamuly sought the court’s intervention in providing proper treatment to him.
The doctors have suggested proper treatment for Gogoi and have furnished a report to the NIA court.