HC grants absolute bail to Hiren Gohain

From Our Special Correspondent

GUWAHATI: Gauhati High Court on Wednesday granted absolute bail to Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill (FACAAB) chairman and intellectual, Hiren Gohain who was charged with ”sedition” while speaking at a public rally here against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The High Court has also granted absolute bail to FACAAB convenor Manjit Mahanta and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi, against whom a similar charge was made. Assam Police had registered suo motu case against Gohain at Latasil police station under Sections 120(B)/121/123/124(A), alleging that the literary critic and poet had during his speech on January 7 reportedly referred to the demand for an “Independent Assam” (Swadhin Axom).
“I have come to know that we have been granted absolute bail by the High Court today. The speech I made at the public rally against CAB had nothing in it to foment trouble. This is a country where there is freedom of speech and freedom to voice one’s opinion. The fact that the police had lodged a case by disregarding such freedom should stir up public conscience,” Gohain said. FACAAB convener, Mahanta said the High Court had observed the visuals of what was said at the public rally and decided to grant absolute bail as nothing objectionable was found in the video clips. Gohain said that when the topic of “Independent Assam” was raised, he had only reacted by saying that if the democratic measures against the Bill did not work and the demand (to scrap the Bill) not paid heed to, then only the issue of Swadhin Assam demand might come up.

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