Government

NIA Now Questions Cotton University Student Leader Pranjal Kalita

Kalita was questioned in the same case for which IIT Guwahati teacher Arupjyoti Saikia has been summoned repeatedly.

Guwahati: After IIT Guwahati faculty member and noted history scholar Arupjyoti Saikia was called by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for questioning multiple times over his alleged involvement in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, the agency on Thursday called in former Cotton University students’ union general secretary Pranjal Kalita.

Kalita is the assistant general secretary of Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti (SMSS), the student wing of the peasant body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), which was helmed by Akhil Gogoi.

Gogoi himself is behind bars for 2009 Maoist links case. The NIA took him in custody after his active involvement in anti-CAA protests.

Kalita was the general secretary of Cotton University students’ union during 2018-19. Kalita had received the summons from NIA on Wednesday to appear on Thursday.

Also read: After Questioning IIT Guwahati Teacher for 3 Days, NIA Summons Him Again on Feb 7

He was called under Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as a witness and in connection with the anti-CAA protests that rocked Guwahati in December. His legal counsel Santanu Borthakur said, “It cannot be said what he was questioned on. NIA hasn’t said anything and we don’t know when he will be called again. Once a case has been registered the investigation body has the power to summon people.”

Kalita was questioned for a few hours. Speaking to the media he said, “I was called over the same case involving Akhil Gogoi. The NIA, as of now, is not able to provide any evidence related to the case and people of Assam are a witness to that. They want us, the students’ community, as sacrificial bait. But won’t fall or be afraid. The revolution will continue and I request the people of Assam to not give up and take the agitation forward. I am not sure if I will be called again as the NIA hasn’t said anything about it.”

Besides Akhil Gogoi, other KMSS leaders like Dharjya Konwar, Bitu Sonowal and Mahesh Konwar have all been arrested by the NIA. Gogoi has been under arrest since December.