NET News Desk
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi tested positive for COVID 19 on Saturday.
As per reports, the peasant leader Gogoi, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency, NIA for his alleged role in violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act last year, tested positive for novel coronavirus inside the Guwahati Central Jail on Saturday, an official said.
Reports, further said, a total of 55 inmates, including Gogoi, have tested positive at the jail, forcing the authorities to issue orders for taking samples of all the 1,069 prisoners.
“Akhil Gogoi tested positive in the antigen test this evening. He will be shifted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) now,” Inspector General (Prisons) Dasarath Das told media.
The health officials did three tests of Gogoi — two antigen and one swab test (RT-PCR) — and only the last antigen sample came positive, Das said.
Earlier this week two of his aides Bitu Sonowal and Dhaijjya Konwar have also tested positive for coronavirus. They were first admitted to the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) on Wednesday night and then were shifted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in the morning. All three activists were lodged at the central jail in Guwahati where an inmate was found positive last month. The test result of another KMSS activist Manash Konwar held in the same jail whose results were awaited tested negative.
Owing to Gogoi’s deteriorating health conditions, a petition was filed by Gogoi’s lawyer for immediate testing of Gogoi and his aides who have shown COVID symptoms. Following which the NIA Court has directed the Guwahati Central Jail Authorities to immediately arrange COVID-19 testing facility for the KMSS members.
The peasant leader has completed a jail term of over 200 days along with young KMSS leaders Bitu Sonowal, Dhaijjya Konwar and Manas Konwar.
Gogoi was arrested in December 2019 under the amended UAPA (Unlawful Assembly Prevention Act) by the NIA, following the anti-CAA protests that had rocked Assam last year.
The United Nations as well as other human rights bodies and several prominent political leaders have requested the release of these activists time and again. Recently, senior Congress leader and former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has demanded the government for the immediate release of the peasant leaders.
Meanwhile, there has been an uproar on social media demanding the release of the peasant leader.