Guwahati: Peasant leaders Bitu Sonowal and Dhaijya Konwar have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and have been shifted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Thursday while swab test result of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi is yet to be released even though he is showing signs of the virus, as per reports.
Earlier on Wednesday night, both Sonowal and Konwar, who are languishing in the Guwahati Central Jail along with Gogoi for their role in the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) agitation across the state, were brought to the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) in Guwahati. Later, they were shifted to GMCH.
While at MMCH, both the leaders alleged that they were not treated properly and were asked to sit on the corridor of the hospital.
However, denying the allegations, Abhijeet Sarma, superintendent of MMCH, said, “On their arrival, we offered them separate beds in a general ward. But they were adamant in demanding special cabins for them, which were not possible for us at that moment.”
Meanwhile, both the leaders have been admitted in the GMCH under strict security cover.
On the other hand, the reported deteriorating health condition of Gogoi has been a cause of concern for his supporters in some of the upper Assam districts of the state. It is reported that Gogoi, who was diagnosed with kidney stone, gastric ulcer recently, has also been exhibiting some of the signs of the COVID-19 virus.
Senior Congress leader and former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has demanded the government for immediate release of the peasant leaders.
Earlier, over 1,200 prisoners in Guwahati Central Jail staged a two-day-long mass revolt and hunger strike demanding immediate release of the peasant leaders, including Akhil Gogoi.
Gogoi, the founder of the KMSS, has completed a jail term of 200 days on June 29 along with young leaders like Bitu Sonowal, Dhaijjya Konwar and Manas Konwar. Led by Gogoi, these young leaders were at the forefront of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests that broke out in the state in early December.
“The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had also written to the Centre to free all anti-CAA political prisoners on 26 June. However, instead of releasing the under-trial prisoners due to the pandemic, which is an international human rights issue, the government has not yet responded positively but has rather brought in new inmates in jails with no COVID tests or quarantine as per guidelines,” KMSS adviser Hussain Md Sahjahan alleged.