A Sanskritik Pratibad (Cultural protest) was staged in front of JB College at Jorhat on Tuesday demanding release of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi and scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.

The protest was led by the members of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) along with its students wing Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti (SMSS).

Akhil Gogoi was arrested in Jorhat last December and charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the stringent UAPA.

He was accused of ‘seditious’ activities which included ‘waging war’ against the nation for their alleged ‘incitement’ to violence during the anti-CAA protests that had engulfed Assam last winter.

Akhil Gogoi is yet to be released and is undergoing treatment for Covid19 infection in Guwahati.

The different organizations and individuals that joined the protest were Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, Chutiya Jati Chatra Sanstha, Assam Tea Tribes Students Association, Chah Gushti Sangram Samiti, Students Federation of India, lawyers students, journalists, and other organisations.

Senior citizens and intellectuals also participated in the protest with the singing of songs, recital of poems and drawings.

KMSS secretary Arindam Gogoi delivered a lecture condemning the anti-Assam stand of the present governments at the Centre and state in passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 without properly debating on the pros and cons of CAA.

Cinnamara Jatiya Vidyalaya teacher Dibyajyoti Sharma, journalist Niranjan Mahanta and Utpal Bora, Ajycp Jorhat district president Pranab Jyoti Saikia, Chutia Jati Chatra Sanstha, Raj Baroi Bora Chutia, ATTSA office-bearer Deepak Tanti, tea tribe leader Lakhan Sawra, student leader Indu Kamal Bhuyan delivered speeches criticising the government through songs and recitals.

Advocates Hemen Bora and Sudipta Nayan Goswami, student leader Champak Dutta also added their voice to the protest.

The protestors carrying banners and shouting slogans warned that such protests would continue till Akhil Gogoi is not released and the Act scrapped.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com