Guwahati: IIT Guwahati faculty member Arupjyoti Saikia has been called for another round of questioning by the National Investigation Agency on February 7.
Saikia was questioned on Tuesday, February 4, for about five hours. This was the third time since Saturday that he was summoned by the investigation body for his alleged links with peasant group Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Maoist groups.
Saikia’s legal counsel Santanu Borthakur told The Wire that he was summoned at the NIA office at Sonapur in the outskirts of the city at around 11:30 am and was let go in the evening.
Borthakur said that no specific details could be shared so as to what exactly transpired between Saikia and NIA during the questioning. He however added that the continued questioning of the noted scholar was uncalled for and unheard of as he was being called as a witness and not as an ‘accused.’
Borthakur also said that it looked like a form of intimidation.
Saikia was summoned by the NIA under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code Police (CrPc). This section has the power to summon a witness or require his or her attendance. The case related to Saikia pertains to his alleged involvement in the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019) protests that rocked Guwahati and other parts of Assam in December.
“It is difficult to say why the NIA is acting like this. Generally, they behave this way only when there is intimidation,” said Borthakur.
State finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma some days ago in a press conference said that the state had information on instruction given to burn down the state legislative assembly or the Janata Bhawan in Dispur. “The instruction was given by a leading academic of Assam. I won’t give out the name but if one studies or reads the police case or case records against peasant leader Akhil Gogoi it reeks of the involvement of a leading academic but not known intellectual who works with a central government organisation or an academic institute,” Sarma had said.