Assam’s Opp leader seeks probe into COVID ‘spread’ in jail

GUWAHATI: Leader of the Opposition at the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia has requested chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to set up an inquiry commission to trace how COVID-19 has “spread” among inmates of Guwahati Central Jail.

In a letter to the chief minister, Saikia referred to two jailed KMSS leaders testing positive for the virus on Thursday.

“It has been learnt that two inmates of Guwahati Central Jail, Dharjya Konwar and Bitu Sonowal have been found COVID positive, in the wake of insistence by the public and intervention of the Special CBI/NIA Court which directed the authorities to carry out COVID-19 tests on the KMSS leaders kept in prison, including Akhil Gogoi,” the letter read.

The Opposition leader further questioned how the duo got infected in prison when no outsider/family member has been allowed to meet the detainees since a long time on the plea that they may get infected by the virus.

“Now, it is very much necessary to find out who has brought COVID-19 to the jail. Further, in view of spread of the virus, the Supreme Court had directed all the state governments to release prisoners so that they can go back home. Most of the prisoners were consequently released, but in spite of such a directive political prisoners like Akhil Gogoi are still being kept in prison,” Saikia stated.

“As such, I request you kindly to reconsider the matter and ensure that all under trial prisoners who have not yet been convicted by any court of law, including political prisoners, are sent for medical check-up/treatment in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive and subsequently allowed to return to their homes,” he stated in the letter to Sonowal.





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