Akhil alleges custodial torture in open letter ahead of Assam polls

Anti-CAA activist claims he was offered bail if he joined RSS or BJP


GUWAHATI, March 23: 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 RSS or BJP.”

Gogoi, who is contesting the ensuing Assembly elections in the state from Sibsagar Legislative Assembly constituency as an Independent, said that the letter was written in view of the reported “misinformation” spread against him in the constituency from various quarters ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.

“I was taken from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Guwahati secretly by an aircraft at night to the NIA headquarters in Delhi. At the NIA headquarters, I was lodged in lockup around 3am on December 18, 2019, given a dirty blanket and made to sleep on the floor in temperatures as low as three to four degrees Celsius,” he claimed in the letter on Tuesday.

The NIA had arrested him in December 2019 for his alleged role in the “violent” anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

“During the course of a marathon interrogation from 9am on December 18, 2019, the interrogators explained how the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was being brought to save the country. I was also offered 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 that I could contest the Assembly against a vacant seat and become a minister,” Gogoi claimed.

The peasant leader further alleged that “he was offered Rs 20 crore to quit Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), and instead, run an NGO to engage in work against conversions of Assamese people into Christianity.”

“Finally, when I refused to accept any of their proposals, they offered to arrange a meeting with the chief minister and an influential minister of Assam. But I turned down this proposal as well,” Gogoi said.

He further alleged that when he accepted none of the proposals, he was branded a “noncompliant citizen and charged in extreme cases.”

“I was threatened with dire consequences if I didn’t accept the proposals. Death threats were given along with the threat of serving 10 years in jail. With such physical and mental torture, I became restless on the night of December 20, 2019,” the RTI activist wrote in the letter.



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