Anti-CAA protest in Delhi
Anti-CAA protestors arrested demanding release of Akhil Gogoi in New Delhi on Monday. Image credit - Twitter

Forty agitators were arrested by Delhi Police on Monday for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and demanding the release of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi.

The anti-CAA activists were protesting near the Assam Bhawan in the national capital.

Akhil Gogoi, the advisor of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), was arrested on December 15 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] amid protests over the new citizenship law.

Gogoi remained vocal against the new Act and was leading the anti-CAA protests in Upper Assam when he was arrested.

Also read: KMSS seeks Akhil Gogoi’s release, protests in Guwahati

He was sent to 10-day NIA custody on Tuesday last by a special NIA court.

Police sources said as the agitators were trying to gherao the Assam Bhawan they were detained near Sardar Patel Marg.

The agitators mostly students, who gathered outside the Assam Bhawan in response to a call of Jawaharlal University Students’ Union of All India Students Association  (AISA) were taken to Mandir Marg police station.

The students alleged that the police asked them to disperse, saying that section 144 CrPC was imposed.

“The moment we asked the SHO (station house officer) to show a copy of the section 144 CrPC being imposed here, the students were detained,” said Kunal Sharma, an agitator.

A girl agitator alleged that despite women personnel being deployed there, the male police personnel arrested and manhandled them.

Anti-CAA protestors were also arrested by Delhi Police as they staged a protest in front of UP Bhawan in Delhi on Monday.

The protestors claimed they were detained when they “were protesting peacefully at Assam Bhawan and U.P Bhawan in Delhi”.

After his arrest, Akhil Gogoi was brought to Delhi by the NIA.

The protestors said, “The people of Assam and around recognised the symbolism of this arrest that it was to deter the region from standing against an anti-secular and anti-indigenous law.”

Students and activists from across the country gathered on Monday to express solidarity with Gogoi and demand his release at Assam Bhawan.

“We know that police brutality and control is the new norm. We know that it is now in the hand of the police to turn a protest ‘violent’ or ‘peaceful’. We know this is an attack on our democratic right to protest,” the protestors said in a statement.

“Police brutality in UP, Assam and other regions is an attempt to set an example for those who dissent and obviously for those who are ‘different’.”

The protestors further added, “We must stand together. We must relentlessly assert our rights. We won’t be silenced by a vengeful state.”

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