A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday acquitted Sibsagar MLA Akhil Gogoi in one of the two cases against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, for allegedly inciting violence during the December 2019 protests in Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
NIA Special Judge Pranjal Das did not frame charges against Gogoi, who has been under arrest since, in connection with the case registered in the Chabua police station.
The court also cleared two of his associates – Jagatjit Gohain and Bhupen Gogoi of all charges under the same act.
But charges were framed against the MLA’s third associate, Bhaskarjyoti Phukan, under a section of the Indian Penal Code for joining unlawful assembly armed with a lethal weapon. His case has now been transferred to a local court in Dibrugarh.
The UAPA case pending against Gogoi lodged at the Chandmari police station in Guwahati was later transferred to the NIA. He had approached the Gauhati High Court after the special court rejected his bail application in this case in August 2020.
After the high court rejected Gogoi’s bail plea, he moved the Supreme Court. The apex court had decided not to “consider the petition at this stage”.
“Two cases were registered against Akhil Gogoi. One in Chabua PS and another in Chanmari PS. Meanwhile, the Chabua PS case charge hearing is over and they have released an order regarding the same. NIA court has discharged Akhil Gogoi, Jagajit Gohain, Bhupen Gogoi and the charges have been framed against Bhaskarjyoti Phukan. Phukan has been framed under IPC sections 144 and 188 and further court proceedings will continue in the Dibrugarh Court. Also, both the 144 and 188 sections are bailable,” said Gogoi’s advocate, Krishna Gogoi.
The Raijor Dal leader won from the Sibsagar seat in the State Assembly elections held this year. Gogoi became the first jailed leader in Assam to win an election.