Assam: Akhil alleges torture in NIA custody, claims he was offered bail if he joined RSS or BJP
Jailed anti-CAA activist and Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi has written “an open letter to the people of Assam” alleging physical and mental torture in custody while claiming that he was “offered bail by interrogators if he joined either the RSS or BJP.”
Gogoi, who will contest the ensuing Assembly elections in the state from Sibsagar Legislative Assembly constituency as an Independent, said that the letter was written because of the reported “misinformation” spread against him in the Upper Assam constituency ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.
“They took me from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Guwahati secretly by an aircraft at night to NIA headquarters in Delhi without the court’s permission. At the NIA headquarters, they lodged me in lockup around 3:00 am on December 18, 2019, given a dirty blanket and made to sleep on the floor in temperatures as low as 3-4 degrees Celsius,” he claimed in the letter.
The NIA had arrested him in December 2019 for his alleged role in the “violent” anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.
“During a marathon interrogation from 9:00 am on December 18, 2019, the interrogators explained how the Citizenship Amendment Act was being brought to save the country. They also offered me bail if I joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),” the letter claimed.
“When I started debating against the insulting offer, they offered another proposal of joining the BJP, while enticing me I could contest the Assembly against a vacant seat and become a minister,” Gogoi claimed.
The peasant leader also alleged that “they offered him Rs 20 crore to start an NGO by quitting Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and engage in work against the conversion of Assamese people to Christianity.”
“Finally, when I refused to accept any of their proposals, they offered me a meeting with the chief minister and an influential minister of Assam. I turned down this proposal as well,” Gogoi said.
He further alleged that when he accepted none of the offers, he was referred to as a “non-compliant citizen and charged in extreme cases.”
“They threatened me with dire consequences if I didn’t accept the proposals. Death threats were given, along with the threat of serving ten years in jail. With such physical and mental torture, I became unstable on the night of December 20, 2019,” the RTI activist wrote in the letter.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)