Guwahati : The Gauhati High Court on Friday had granted interim bail to Assamese literature and Sahitya Akademi awardee Dr Hiren Gohain, activist Akhil and absolute bail to former journalist Manjit Mahanta in the sedition case filed by the Assam police for their alleged ‘Sovereignty in Assam’ remarks over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
According to the reports, Justice H K Sarma granted bail to Dr Gohain and Akhil Gogoi against a surety Rs 5000 each and directed the police to file the case diary by January 22.
The Assam police had registered a suo-motu case at Latasil police station in Guwahati (case no – 15/2019) under sections 120 (B), 121, 123 and 124 (A) of the Indian Panel Code (IPC).
Dr Gohain, Akhil Gogoi and former journalist Manjit Mahanta were booked under sections related to sedition after their comments on the probability of the resurgence of a fight for sovereignty in Assam during a protest rally against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 held in Guwahati on January 7 last.
Dr Hiren Gohain and Assam farmer leader Akhil Gogoi had raised the sovereignty of Assam issue publically in the meeting organised by ‘Save Assam Forum’ to protest against the Citizenship Bill.
Dr Hiren Gohain said at that meeting that – If the Government of India, other organisations of the country will not hear our voices, there is no other option for us to raise the sovereignty of Assam issue.
On the other hand, Assam farmer leader Akhil Gogoi said that, if the bill is accepted in the parliament, then the Assamese people will be no more with Indian stand.
“We will declare sovereignty in Assam. This is an unconstitutional, illegal and unethical bill, so this bill should be immediately scrapped,” Akhil Gogoi said.
Reacting over the police case, Dr Gohain said that, he was surprised following the police move.
“At that day, a public meeting was organised to protest against the bill and everybody allowed to speak in their mind there. Some people did raise question of ‘Swadin Asom’. When our right to speech is gagged, our movements are restricted, not allow to our grievances, in the sense this is a battle for freedom. We are fighting to regain the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution,” Dr Gohain said.
On the other hand, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MLA Anuwar Hussain Laskar said that, the state government has intentionally registered the case against Dr Gohain and two others in charge of sedition.
“Earlier, BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev, BJP national president Amit Shah had also made some serious provocative statements. But, no such case was registered against them. The BJP and the both centre and state government are playing vote bank politics and want to grant Indian citizenship to the Hindu Bangladeshis to secure their vote bank. We are strongly condemned it,” Anuwar Hussain Laskar said.
It is be mentioned that, the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, which is aimed to grant Indian citizenship to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan has been passed in Lok Sabha.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath, Guwahati)