Akhil Gogoi (45) is considered a prominent leader of farmers in Assam, who has been jailed for more than a year.
He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following his involvement in sedition and opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) under the UAPA.
Akhil Gogoi was involved in the 2019 anti-CAA Protest demonstrations in Assam, in which five protesters were killed in a shootout allegedly by the state police. Gogoi heads the farmers’ Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and is now the chairman of a new regional political party, the Raijor Dal.
The party is tying up with another regional party, AJP, for the upcoming assembly elections, as both parties originally had CAA opposition.
The Raijor Dal says that it is contesting elections with the aim of developing a politically federal, socially inclusive and economically self-reliant Assam.
Both the Raijor Dal and AJP have decided not to join the Congress-led ‘Grand Alliance’ against the BJP.
In a letter written from jail on Tuesday, Gogoi said that regional parties cannot go with the ‘mahagathbandhan’ because the AIUDF – led by MP Badruddin Ajmal and has a large support base in the Muslim community of Bengali origin in Assam.
In the NIA FIR, Gogoi and others were accused of engaging in terrorist activities and using the CAA issue to allegedly promote enmity between the groups.
In a raid in December, NIA officials recovered from the KMSS office some books related to Communism, Marxism and Socialism, books belonging to Maotsse Tung and Vladimir Lenin.
This is not the first time, Gogoi has been arrested several times during the Congress and BJP rule in Assam. Earlier, he and KMSS have been vocal about protests against land issues in Assam and big dam projects in the state.
Since 2017, Gogoi has been booked twice for sedition by the Assam Police. Last month, the Supreme Court dismissed the Gogoi bail petition. People close to him say that he can contest assembly elections while in jail.
According to a report, Gogoi will be the candidate of Raizor Dal from Sivasagar assembly constituency in eastern Assam.