Assam activist Akhil Gogoi, arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act earlier this month amid protests over the new citizenship law, has been sent to judicial custody till January 10. The activist said he was passing days with "great pain" under custody.
"I am passing my days under custody with great pain," is all what Mr Gogoi told the media outside the court. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which had raided his home in Guwahati this morning, had asked for further custody in court today, but it was rejected.
Akhil Gogoi has been accused of having links with a banned Maoist group. The activist tried to use the anti-citizenship law movement in Assam to help the Maoists establish base in the state, the probe agency officials have claimed.
In today's raids, the NIA seized Akhil Gogoi's old laptop and several documents, including RTIs filed by him, his wife Geetashree Tamuly said. "They also took a diary that he wrote when he was jailed the last time. He wanted to write a book on his experiences in the jail. We requested the officials to let us keep a copy but they didn't allow," she said.
Akhil Gogoi was arrested on December 12 amid widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act across the state. Five days later, he was sent to the NIA custody by a special court in Guwahati.
Earlier this week, 93 students were detained near the Assam Bhawan in Delhi when they were demanding the release of the activist.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader has been protesting against the citizenship law since last year.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act is the first law to make religion a criterion for Indian citizenship. The government says the CAA will help non-Muslims minorities who fled religious persecution in Muslim-dominated Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh get Indian citizenship easily. However, critics say the law discriminates blatantly against Muslims and so, is completely against secular principles enshrined in the constitution of India.