Sinlung /
30 June 2011

Assam Govt Targeting RTI Activist Akhil Gogoi?

By Sumon K Chakrabarti

Guwahati: He has rattled the government in Assam with his anti-corruption crusade for two years now. Award-winning RTI activist Akhil Gogoi's - who has exposed corrupt ministers - luck ran out after he led a protest of thousands against eviction of settlers in Guwahati last week. Police firing killed three protestors, including a nine-year-old boy.

Tarun Gogoi's government arrested him two days later on several serious charges - instigating violence, rioting, vandalism, destroying government property but his arrest has snowballed into a major controversy. On Tuesday, the Chief Minister charged him of having links with ULFA and Maoists but then admitted that there was no direct evidence.

There are several questions the government is unable to answer. Why was Akhil Gogoi arrested before a high-level committee even submitted their report on last week's violence in Guwahati? Why has no action been taken against police officers, who ordered to open fire on protestors, so far? Why did Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi make allegations against Akhil Gogoi without any proof?

These unanswered questions have led many to believe that the state government is trying to muzzle the lone voice against corruption in Assam. And Akhil Gogoi's supporters have not just decided to go on a hunger strike till he is released, they will also sue Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for defamation.


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