The Supreme Court Thursday refused to grant bail to peasant activist Akhil Gogoi who is facing charges under the anti-terrorism law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), in connection with the violence during the anti CAA protests in December 2019.
A bench led by Justice NV Ramana said while the court was not inclined to grant bail at this stage, the petitioner could apply for it later.
Gogoi had approached the top court against the Gauhati High Court’s order last month denying bail to him.
The high court in its order had observed “the materials relied upon by the prosecution prima facie shows that cadre/ members of KMSS were trained in the use of firearms and explosives and that the appellant had not only led the protests, but had provoked people to join him and that upon directions issued by the appellant, the supplies essential to life of the community of the country was disrupted in the state”.
“The appellant’s call was instrumental in violent protests, and damage or destruction to vehicles of military and para-military forces, which were to be used for defence of the country”, the high court had said.
It also observed that it was unable to hold that the violent protests throughout the state “did not and/or could not have had any terrorizing effect on the harmony of the innocent public at large.
It added it was of the considered opinion that on being provoked by Gogoi, as the violent protests by burning of tyres had caused rail, highway and internal road blockade, the same was sufficient to give rise to a critical law and order situation that as a whole had threatened the security of the state.
Gogoi, as per the charge-sheet, is accused of making assertions prejudicial to national integration. His speeches, the charge-sheet said, disrupted public peace and caused widespread disharmony and disaffection towards the government established by law.
Gogoi is alleged to have been associated with the proscribed organization CPI (Maoist), and had sent cadres of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) to train in Maoist camps.
This article was first published in The Leaflet.