GUWAHATI: The usage of terms such as “Comrade” and “Lal Salam” in public could land one in trouble.
In its chargesheet filed against Bitu Sonowal and two others, as arrested associate of Assam RTI activist and peasants’ leader Akhil Gogoi, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) mentioned usage of these words on Facebook to justify the chargesheet.
“Bitu Sonowal had referred to some friends and they addressed him as “Comrade” and used words “Lal Salam”. One of his Facebook post(s) is of a picture of Lenin with words The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” the NIA wrote in the chargesheet.
The chargesheet also made mention of seven seized DVDs stating that “They contain video footages and pictures of violent activities in Guwahati during the relevant period”.
It was stated that the DVDs had been sent to the CFSL, Chandigarh for forensic analysis and examination.
“During the investigation, incriminating documents, material objects, have been seized. Further, statements of witnesses in connection with the instant case have been recorded which reveal the conspiracy of the accused,” the chargesheet reads.
The NIA claimed to have seized some books such as “Communist Manifesto” written in Assamese, “Lenin’s Selected Works”, written in English, and a book on Mao Zedong in Assamese.
In the wake of violent protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam in December last year, Akhil Gogoi was arrested by the NIA. Later, three others including Bitu Sonowal were arrested. All of them are now in judicial custody.
The NIA alleged that Gogoi had several secret meetings with the members of CPI (Maoist) and had sent members of his peasants’ group Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee to train in the outfit’s camps. It claimed that in the name of dissent, the accused had been “organising seditious activities disrupting government works” in Assam for a long time.
The probe agency slapped Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between two groups on grounds of religion, race etc), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) of the IPC against the accused.