Opinion | The Politics behind the re-arrest of Akhil Gogoi

By Anuraag Baruah

Akhil Gogoi got bail on Friday evening in the Moran PS Case only to be get arrested next in another old case from Dudhnoi PS. For the uninitiated, Moran PS falls at Moran in Upper Assam whereas Dudhnoi in Lower Assam, 512 kms apart to be exact. It is almost a 12 hours journey.

Again for the uninitiated, you might think that nothing is abnormal in this, one might be arrested in a case even if given bail in another case.

Actually the fact of the matter is that there are dozens of cases against Akhil Gogoi in Assam across the length and breadth of the state in various Police Stations. Some are serious to an extent while most of them are frivolous in nature.

The Dudhnoi PS Case actually falls under the frivolous nature. Some over-enthusiatic youth from the area that falls under Goalpara Dist had painted black colour on a signboard of Deendayal Upadhayaya College. That was the peak of anti-Deendayal Upadhayaya College protests in Assam and the protests reached such a crescendo that even the BJP Governments both at the Centre and the State had to offer explanations and clarifications.

What is more interesting is the fact that Akhil Gogoi is not even remotely related to the incident. According to reports, he wasn’t even present in the region when the incident happened. Also, the Case filed at Dudhnoi PS doesn’t even mention Akhil Gogoi.

Then why arrest Akhil in another case which is not strong enough and he will get released anyway eventually? Akhil Gogoi has been able to garner immense support recently, specially in Upper Assam following his arrest under NSA. Many top advocates from the state fought for him and got him exempted from the NSA Case. When he got bail on Friday evening in the Moran PS Case, the stage was all set for his welcome. He would have re-gained his lost glory (Of late, he had lost a bit of sheen) and would have been ‘herofied’ again as the people’s leader, the peasant leader. Even the Congress party in the opposition had realised this and was quick to take Akhil’s side recently. Senior Congress Leaders including leader of opposition had infact visited Akhil recently in Dibrugarh Jail. Ex-CM Tarun Gogoi too hinted recently that there might be a tie-up with Akhil Gogoi led KMSS in near future.

The BJP government didn’t want this to happen. So Akhil Gogoi was taken away from Upper Assam where he has been developing a strong base recently to Lower Assam. Dudhnoi under Goalpara Dist is a minority dominated area and Akhil won’t have that kind of support when he will be finally released. Dudhnoi PS Case is so frivolous that it is only a matter of time before Akhil would be out in the open but there won’t be that kind of support and welcome he would have got in Upper Assam.

At a time when most of the minority people of Assam are being targetted as suspected Bangladeshis, a huge crowd of minority people welcoming Akhil Gogoi when he would be finally released after months in Jail will be easier for all kinds of interpretations.