Hiren Gohain, Akhil Gogoi and Manjit Mahanta
Human Rights Defenders
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 11 January, 2019 regarding the sedition charges against Intellectual Dr. Hiren Gohain, Activist Akhil Gogoi of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Mr. Manjit Mahanta, Convenor of Forum against Citizenship act amendment bill.
On January 9, 2019 a case was filed against Dr. Gohain, Mr. Gogoi and Mr. Mahanta at Latasil Police Station, vide FIR No. 15/19 under Section 120(B), 121, 123, 124(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
Amidst the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill at the Lok Sabha there was widespread protest throughout the North Eastern states of India against the said Bill. As a supporter of the protest victims also attended a public rally at Latasil, Guwahati where they expressed their views against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 and strongly opposed the passing of the said Bill. According to media reports, Dr. Gohain in his speech said that if the Centre keeps on disrespecting sentiments of the Assamese people then people of Assam will be forced to demand an independent Assam and Mr. Gogoi said that demand for an independent Assam will be the last option if the Government does not change its decision on the said Bill.
It is pertinent to mention that the above mentioned HRDs have expressed many times in public that they are not against the Constitution of India, but they demand equal constitutional protection for the people of Assam.
HRDA prayed for thorough investigation and to take immediate actions on the perpetrators of the case.