In a significant development, police here on Sunday arrested noted RTI activist Akhil Gogoi on charges of violating the model code of conduct for elections.
Mr Gogoi, who was addressing a press conference at the Guwahati Press Club against corruption, was asked by the Kamrup Metro district administration to stop his press conference.
The district administration accused Mr Gogoi of violating the code of conduct for election which does not permit any individual to campaign after electioneering is over. The deputy commissioner, Kamrup Metro district, Mr Balaji, told this newspaper that they were left with no option but to arrest Mr Gogoi who was trying take out a procession from Ambari area soon after he was asked to stop his press conference.
Mr Balaji said, “Before this, the RTI activist had sought permission for holding a rally, but we denied this as the entire administration is busy in holding elections on Monday.”
The arrest of Mr Gogoi, also the general secretary of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, evoked sharp reaction as hundreds of people gathered outside Pan Bazaar police station demanding the release of the activist.
Political parties and prominent citizens of the state also came out in support of Mr Gogoi. Former vice-chancellor of the Guwahati University, Mr Nirmal Choudhury, described it the fascist attitude of the state administration. Meanwhile, Mr Gogoi was allowed to go on bail, but he launched a sit-in strike asking the administration to explain the reason for his arrest and reveal the names of political leaders who mounted pressure on the police for his arrest.
The RTI activist has been posing a serious challenge to the ruling party by organizing public meetings asking people not to vote for the Congress. Asian Age