Guwahati: The writers’ community of Assam on Sunday wrote an open letter to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal demanding proper medical treatment for jailed peasant leader Akhil Gogoi and other activists who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are admitted to hospitals.
More than 100 writers signed the letter and demanded the release of all political prisoners who were arrested during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in December last year.
“Considering the fact that COVID test was done for Gogoi and his companions only after the agitation of people and subsequent intervention of court, the citizens are worried if fundamental constitutional and human rights of the political prisoners have been compromised”, the letter stated.
The letter was made available to the media. The signatories to the letter include eminent writers Nilmani Phookan Jr, Hiren Gohain, Prabhat Bora, Apurba Sarma, Jnan Pujari, Arupa Kalita Patangia, Sameer Tanti, Moushumi Kandali, Nilim Kumar, Ratna Bharali Talukdar, Jiban Narah, Kushal Dutta, Areendom Borkotoki, Kamal Kumar Tanti, Dalim Das, Ankur Ranjan Phukan, Maitrayee Patar, Kukil Saikia and Panchanan Hazarika, among others.
Gogoi, his two key associates Dharjya Konwar and Bitu Sonowal, along with 52 other inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail have tested positive for COVID-19 and admitted to hospitals with the jail being declared a containment zone since Saturday.
The writers are in solidarity with the jailed activists and have written to the chief minister primarily demanding “proper medical treatment of Gogoi and his companions, and also stressing on the release of all political prisoners of the anti-CAA movement across the country”.
The writers’ community hopes that the chief minister, as a representative of his people, would consider and stand by the humanitarian as well as constitutional aspects of the case.