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RTI activist Akhil Gogoi's arrest fuels protests in Assam

March 02, 2014 20:22 IST

Right To Information activist and President of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti Akhil Gogoi was arrested on Sunday in connection with the self-immolation of an activist last week, triggering widespread protest in Assam.

Gogoi was arrested from his residence in Guwahati during the wee hours on Sunday on the charges of abatement to suicide and criminal conspiracy for Pranab Boro's self-immolation on February 24, the police said. Five other KMSS members were also arrested.

Later, Gogoi and five others were remanded to police custody for four days by the chief judicial magistrate.

Boro poured petrol on his body and set himself afire in front of the state secretariat demanding land rights to people living in the hill areas in Guwahati.

Alleging that the police had entered Gogoi's house after breaking open the door in the morning, KMSS members hit the streets across the state to protest his arrest.

National highways across many districts, including Sivasagar, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup Rural and Sonitpur, were blocked, although most of the agitations subsided after Gogoi asked supporters not to call for an 'Assam bandh'.

State roads were also blocked in many parts of Assam. In Guwahati, some protesters blocked a few roads by burning tyres, but were cleared immediately by the police.

In Rangiya, the road link between India and Bhutan was blocked by KMSS activists. Effigies of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Guwahati Senior Superintendent of Police Anand Prakash Tiwari were burnt.

Scores of protesters were picked up by the police from various locations across the state.

Meanwhile, Gogoi's advocate Bijon Mahajan told reporters that a complaint has been filed under the directive of the chief judicial magistrate on the allegation of Gogoi's wife that the police damaged property in the house while arresting him.

Image: RTI activist Akhil Gogoi

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