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Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi held for violent protests

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, June 24 (IANS): Peasants leader Akhil Gogoi was Friday arrested on charges of fomenting rioting in Assam's main city Guwahati that left three people dead and 50 injured.

Gogoi was arrested from the Guwahati Press Club minutes before he was to address a press conference.

Police had earlier said at least 10 cases were registered against him for leading a violent protest Wednesday in Guwahati.

Three people, including a nine-year-old child, were killed, more than 50 injured and at least 20 public and private vehicles were damaged after mobs went on a rampage.

Police said the protest turned violent when people armed with sticks and stones attacked security forces and targeted public and private transport.

More than 5,000 people, led by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS), a peasants group, protested demanding authorities to stop an eviction drive in the city's hill areas. Gogoi is the leader of the KMSS.

The protesters, including women and children, were demanding an end to the evictions of squatters from bamboo huts built in hills around the city.

They want the government to allow them to stay and apply for utility services like water and electricity.

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