Express News Service
GUWAHATI: The newly-floated Raijor Dal in Assam has named jailed activist Akhil Gogoi as its president.
He will lead the party from the Central Jail in Guwahati. A decision towards this effect was made at the party’s three-day-long Moranhat convention on Friday night.
The Raijor Dal was floated in October last year by 70 organisations led by peasants’ organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) of which Gogoi is a leader.
The Gauhati High Court had on Thursday rejected the activist’s bail plea. He was arrested by the police in December 2019 when the protests in Assam against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) had turned violent, leading to loss of lives.
Later, he was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a case registered against him by the police in Guwahati. The case pertains to his alleged links with the CPI (Maoist). The NIA had charged him with sedition, intention to cause riot against national integration, punishment for criminal conspiracy and unlawful association under Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Gogoi was arrested by the NIA for his links with the CPI (Maoist) and not due to his role in the anti-CAA protests.
“The NIA has got evidence of his linkage to the CPI (Maoist). Based on it, the agency has continued with its investigation,” Sarma said.
He said the NIA, in its chargesheet, mentioned Gogoi had attempted to carry out activities in Assam at the behest of the CPI (Maoist) after getting some KMSS members trained at its camps.
Meanwhile, the Raijor Dal held long sessions with intellectuals, social scientists, academics, prominent personalities and activists at the convention on Friday.
In September last year, the Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) was floated by student bodies All Assam Students’ Union and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad. The general perception is that AJP and Raijor Dal will cut into the votes of another regional party Asom Gana Parishad or AGP. The Assembly elections are expected in April.