NIA court clears Sibsagar MLA Akhil Gogoi of all charges
In a significant development, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here on Thursday acquitted Sibsagar MLA and Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi, and three others, in a case which was initially registered by Assam Police at Chandmari police station here and later handed over to the NIA.
“Akhil Gogoi and three others, who were out on bail, have been cleared of all charges as there was insufficient material or lack of documentary proof to frame charges against him in the case,” his lawyer informed media persons after the verdict.
The 45-year-old has been in jail since December 2019 for allegedly stoking violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests and has been under treatment at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) where he was lodged for the past few months.
“Thirteen charges had been filed against him, of which two – a case registered under Chabua police station in which he was acquitted recently, and the Chandmari police station case – was earlier handed over to the NIA,” the lawyer said.
“The release letter has already been sent to the jail authorities. Subsequently, it will be communicated to the GMCH authorities. So he should be out of jail very soon,” he informed.
Akhil had been denied bail by the High Court and Supreme Court earlier after several pleas.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed an additional charge sheet against him on the final day of trial for framing charges, with Raijor Dal accusing the state government of hatching a conspiracy to keep him in jail for a longer period.
“He has been cleared of all charges today as the court has denied a week’s time sought by the state government’s advocate to frame charges against him,” Akhil’s lawyer said.