Medha Patekar in Guwahati
Social activists Medha Patkar and Sandeep Pandey on way to meet KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi in Guwahati Central Jail on Wednesday. Image credit – Northeast Now

Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar on Wednesday termed the anti-CAA protests being organized by AASU across Assam as a ‘government agitation.

Patkar said this after meeting Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi in the Guwahati Central Jail.

Renowned social activist Patkar met Gogoi along with noted social activist Sandeep Pandey, who is the co-founder of Asha for Education.

Talking to reporters after meeting the KMSS leader, Patkar, the winner of the Right Livelihood Award in 1991, said, “The government has pushed AASU in the anti-CAA agitation. Akhil Gogoi has been jailed to stop the agitation launched by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti.”

Speaking in the same tune, Ramon Magsaysay Award 2002 winner Sandeep Pandey alleged, “When I came to Assam in December 2018 when the anti-CAA agitation was going on, the AASU was not visible.”

Pandey also said, “AASU’s stir is a government agitation.”

Medha Patkar said, “There are no sufficient facilities for the prisoners in the jail here. The government fears Satyagrahees.”

Questioning the ability of the Assam Police, Medha Patkar said, “Why should Akhil Gogoi be handed over to the NIA? This is a political conspiracy. The citizens have the constitutional rights to oppose or accept a bill.”

Patkar also said, “This government is more ruthless than the British government. This fascist government has done something which was not done even by the British government.”
Medha Patkar also commented on the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“Now, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has become a political factor for the BJP. SO the BJP-led government has sent behind the bars,” said the Narmada Bachao Andolan leader.

Claiming that the government has no proof against Akhil Gogoi on the allegations leveled by them, Patkar said, “I don’t think the intervention of the NIA is the right step.”

Saying that lakhs of people gather in Akhil Gogoi’s meetings, Patkar asserted, “Akhil Gogoi can’t be a Maoist. The government has failed to provide any proof against him.”

The social activists demanded unconditional release of Akhil Gogoi.

However, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Kr Bhattacharya denied the social activists’ remarks and said, “The anti-CAA protest going on in Assam is a mass agitation which has been participated by the public in large numbers.”

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