'NIA questions Professor IIT-Guwahati deeply distressing'

NEW DELHI: A group of Indian academics and academics from across the country showed up on Sunday in support of the IIT-Guwahati professor, who yesterday was questioned by (NIA).

In saying that Professor Saikia is the most distinguished and respected historian in a country, academics said his interrogation by the NIA is deeply distressing.

The group said: The most recent author of a historical history of history has also written important works on forest and agrarian history. For his contributions to the scholarship, Professor Saikia is much admired, in fact revered, in his native country. He also has a very high reputation nationally and even internationally, with his scholarship recognized by a prestigious scholarship from Yale University.

They said that Professor Saikia is an ornament of the literary and intellectual world of Assam and India.

He is also an individual of high moral character; Friendly, soft voice and absolutely nonviolent. His devotion to his students at IIT-Guwahati is exemplary, the statement said.

The group of academics and academics urged that the NIA treat it with the dignity and respect it deserves, and allow it to continue its professional work without obstacles.

Upon his interrogation, Saikia's lawyer, Santanu Borthakur, said the NIA sent a summons of witnesses to the professor under section 160 CrPC to appear before them.

According to his lawyer, Saikia was summoned in connection with a case against him. Gogoi was reserved for alleged Maoist ties when leading the protests against the CAA.

Professor Saikia teaches history at IIT-Guwahati.

Saikia was a close collaborator of Akhil and an acclaimed author who has several publications under his name, focusing mainly on his research interest: economic, environmental and political history of modern Assam.

NIA detectives interrogated Saikia in his Guwahati office for almost four hours on Saturday and then he was allowed to go home.

Saikia's lawyer said: The NIA interrogated him (Saikia) and recorded his statement. He has been called again for questioning on Monday.

Borthakur said that NIA delivered the notice to Saikia a few days ago and was summoned in relation to the case in which Akhil was booked under the Illegal Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for alleged Maoist ties when addressing the Law against Citizenship (Amendment) agitations in the upper district of Assam Jorhat. In addition to Akhil, the NIA has already arrested several other KMSS leaders and their student wing Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti since December last year.

Former student of Jamia Milia Islamia and JNU, Saikia obtained his doctorate from the University of Delhi and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.

A renowned scholar, who has lectured at some of the most important institutions of higher education in the country, recent publications include The Unquiet River: A Biography of the Brahmaputra published by Oxford University Press and Geographical Exploration and Historical Investigation: John Peter Wade in Assam Landscape, culture and belonging: write the history of northeastern India published by Cambridge University Press.

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