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Assam's Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi walked out of jail on Thursday, 1 July, hours after a special NIA court cleared him of all charges, including those under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), for his role in anti-CAA protests in Assam, reported ANI.
NIA was earlier probing two cases related to Gogoi and his associates, which were initially registered at Chandmari and Chabua police stations.
The charges against them in the first of the two cases were dropped on 22 June.
Shortly after the court's decision, Gogoi said, "Today is a historic day for independent judiciary."
He added, "Everywhere, we are seeing that there is no democratic atmosphere in Indian polity and policy. But this judgment gives us hope. The UAPA is a draconian law... it should be scrapped. Now, I will fight against the anti-terror law," NDTV reported.
Saying that in Assam, political and social atmosphere is no longer democratic, Gogoi hit out at the BJP and said, “There is no democratic spirit in any action of the ruling BJP. If you say anything on social media, or in public domain, a case is filed against you or you are arrested. They (BJP) will make Assam another Uttar Pradesh."
Gogoi had won the April-May Assam elections even though he couldn't campaign.
Commenting on being elected from the Sibasagar constituency in the elections, he said: "The victory in polls was historic. I did not have to spend a single penny from my pocket for the election campaign."
Akhil Gogoi was first arrested on 12 December 2019, in Jorhat after an anti-CAA rally. Two days later, the case was handed over to the NIA and he was booked on charges of sedition and under the UAPA for alleged links with the banned CPI (Maoist).
In March, Gogoi had penned a letter alleging physical and mental torture while he was in custody. He claimed that he was offered immediate bail by the National Investigations Agency (NIA) on the condition that he joined either the BJP or the RSS. Gogoi has remained imprisoned since his involvement in the Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (anti-CAA) protests.
Gogoi had won the Assembly election in May 2021 from the Sivasagar constituency in Assam.
(With inputs from ANI and NDTV)