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Sedition case against Hiren Gohain, Akhil Gogoi & Manjit Mahanta

GUWAHATI: In an important development in the backdrop of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 took place in Assam. Sedition cases were registered against noted Assamese intellectual Hiren Gohain, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi and journalist Manjit Mahanta as per the Indian Penal Code’s section 120 (B), 121, 123, 124 (A) addressing a gathering in Dighalipukhuri (in Guwahati) recently, Gohain has reportedly said that passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will lead to the rise of the demand for an “independent Assam” again. According to police sources, the Latashil police station registered an FIR under sections 120B/121/123/ 124 A (sedition) of the IPC over speeches made by Gohain.Meanwhile, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Kr Bhattacharyya has condemned the move of the government for imposing sedition charges on them.

What is Sedition law and what does it say in the Indian Penal Code:
  • Section 124-A in the Indian Penal Code, named ‘Sedition’, explains sedition in wide and magnanimous terms
  • It says ‘Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India’ shall be punished with life imprisonment
  • Sedition law was much talked about when it was imposed upon student activists at JNU in 2016. Kanhaiya Kumar of JNU and Patidar leader Hardik Patel were slapped with sedition charges
  • In the year 2014, some of the Kashmiri students were charged with sedition for supporting Pakistan in a cricket match between India and Pakistan.

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