The chorus for the unconditional release of RTI activist and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti adviser Akhil Gogoi is growing and has reached the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia University in the national capital.
The students painted graffiti of Gogoi on the walls of Jamia demanding his early release. The peasants’ leader was remanded to another 14-day judicial custody by a special NIA Special Court in Guwahati on January 10th, 2020.
Writings of the walls
The walls of Jamia are not whitewashed anymore. The Jamia students have turned the campus’ sandstone walls into a canvas of discontent. The tall walls are covered with colourful graffiti, murals, spray paintings, signages and slogans.
Students armed with brushes, rollers and colours express their dissent by painting beautiful graffitis against the alleged police excesses at Jamia, the ‘undemocratic and unconstitutional’ Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Nation Register for Citizens (NRC), National Population Register (NPR), AFSPA and arrest of the leaders who were taken into custody during the anti-CAA movement in the country.
The anti-CAA protests began by the students on December 13th, 2019, two days after the Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Since then, the road in front of the university has become an open studio for art students from Jamia and Delhi University.
The students painted the roads with caricatures and graphics to oppose the Act, NRC and NPR. As days passed, students from other colleges, universities and locals joined the ‘art attack’.
Gogoi was arrested in Jorhat on December 12th, 2019 amid protests over the contentious CAA. The Guwahati police on the following day registered a suo-moto case against Gogoi. Later, on December 14th, 2019, the state government handed over the case to the NIA.
He was sent to 10-day NIA custody on December 17th, 2019 by a special court in Guwahati and was taken to NIA Headquarters in New Delhi. Gogoi has been accused of having nexus with Maoist groups. On December 26th, 2019, an NIA court sent Gogoi to judicial custody for 14-day.
The court on January 10th, 2020 turned down NIA’s plea to have Gogoi in its custody for 10 days. The court also asked the Assam government to submit its reply within the next 30 days as to why the KMSS advisor was handcuffed while being taken to the court on the first day of production.
Last month, teams of NIA officials raided Gogoi’s residence at Nizarapar and the Gandhi Basti office of the KMSS in Guwahati. An old laptop, his hand-written diary of the time spent in jail earlier, files and other materials were seized by the NIA team.
Photo credit: /akhtarista.ansari