Guwahati, November 18, 2017: An umbrella body of 147 farmers’ organizations from across the country will launch a campaign on Monday from Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi with a demand to release peasants’ rights leader from Assam, Akhil Gogoi, who was arrested on September 13 on sedition charge.
Nearly 200 members of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), the organization which Gogoi represents, left for New Delhi on Saturday to take part in a dharna to be staged by All India Kishan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) on Monday and Tuesday.
Gogoi has been lodged in Dibrugarh Central Jail in upper Assam since September 18 after he was arrested on sedition charges for making a speech at a public rally in Moran in Dibrugarh district. Gogoi had allegedly said people in Assam would be forced to take up AK 47 if the BJP Narendra Modi government did not roll back its move to grant citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis illegally living in the state. Akhil was later booked under National Security Act (NSA).
The KMSS has already moved Gauahti high court against Akhil’s arrest under NSA. The court will hear the application on Monday.
KMSS has been carrying out agitation since Modi government introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 that seeks to offer citizenship to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Several organizations including AGP, an ally of the BJP-led government in the state are against the bill.
Akhil is one of the 10 members of the core committee of AIKSCC. Medha Patkar and Yogendra Yadav among other prominent leaders are other members of the committee.
The committee has been demanding waiver of firm loan and minimum support price for the farmers’ produce in the country.
“BJP government is not bothered about the identity crisis the indigenous people in the state are facing due to illegal migrations from Bangladesh. So it is bent on giving citizenship to 1.9 crore Hindu Bangladeshis living in Assam. Akhil was booked under the NSA mainly because he has been opposing the move. But we will continue to protest and will stage a state-wide protest on Monday,” KMSS leader, Bhasco De Saikia said in Guwahati.