Akhil Gogoi walks free as special NIA court clears him of all charges
Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, who was was granted 2-day parole by an NIA court last wekk, with his wife Geetashree Tamuly at their Guwahati residence on Friday. (File Photo)

Selenghat/Guwahati: At the end of the 48-hour parole that was granted to meet his son and ailing mother, first-time Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi returned to judicial custody on Sunday evening.

Gogoi drove back to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) straight from his native village at Selenghat in Jorhat district in Assam, more than 300 kms from here, amid heavy security cover.

The legislator was out on parole since Friday night, granted by the Special NIA court in Guwahati to meet his son at the state capital and mother at Jorhat.

He had spent the first night of the brief freedom at his Guwahati home with son and wife, before leaving for Selenghat the next morning to be with his octogenarian mother.

Talking about his stay at his native home after a gap of nearly two years, Gogoi said, “I spent the night with ‘Maa’. There was no electricity for most of the night, so it was a bit difficult.”

Gogoi, the Raijor Dal president, interacted with the people of the village during the morning hours on Sunday from across the compound wall of his house.

“I will not be able to meet my wife and son at Guwahati (again, due to time constraint). I do not want to be late and will enter GMCH an hour before (schedule),” he said.

Gogoi’s appeal to visit his constituency Sibsagar was not allowed in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

The chief of Raijor Dal has been behind bars since December 12, 2019, when he was arrested during the peak of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act movement, as a “preventive measure” in the wake of deteriorating law and order situation.

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Gogoi, who had scripted history by becoming the first person in the state to be elected MLA while in prison, had on Saturday alleged that Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was hatching conspiracies to keep him behind bars.

He had asserted if Sarma believed in democracy, the state cabinet should have taken a decision about his release after he was elected to the Assembly with a huge mandate.

Gogoi had also claimed that the Special NIA court, which is hearing the cases against him, is under tremendous pressure from the government, adding that the parole granted to him by it was a “historic decision”.

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