Protests erupt across Assam after Akhil Gogoi’s arrest

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akhil gogoiGUWAHATI, MAR 02- RTI activist and President of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti Akhil Gogoi was on Sunday arrested in connection with the self-immolation of a KMSS activist last week, triggering widespread protest in Assam.

Gogoi was arrested from his residence here during wee hours on the charges of abatement to suicide and criminal conspiracy for Pranab Boro’s self-immolation on  February 24, police said. Five other KMSS members were also arrested.

Later Gogoi and five others were remanded to police custody for four days by the chief judicial magistrate here.

Boro poured petrol on his body and set himself afire in front of the state secretariat demanding land rights to people living in the hill areas in Guwahati.

Alleging that police had entered Gogoi’s house after breaking open the door this morning, KMSS members hit the streets across the state to protest his arrest.

National Highways across many districts, including Sivasagar, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup Rural and Sonitpur, were blocked, although most of the agitations subsided after Gogoi asked supporters not to call for an ‘Assam Bandh’.

In Guwahati, some protesters blocked a few roads by burning tyres, but were cleared immediately by the police.

In Rangiya, the road link between India and Bhutan was blocked by KMSS activists. Effigies of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Guwahati SSP Anand Prakash Tiwari were burnt.

Scores of protesters were picked up by police from various locations across the state.

Meanwhile, Gogoi’s advocate Bijon Mahajan told reporters that a complaint has been filed under the directive of the Chief Judicial Magistrate on the allegation of Gogoi’s wife that police damaged property in the house while arresting him.

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