Gandhinagar: Jignesh Mevani, a Dalit leader and MLA who was arrested by Assam police about two weeks ago, arrived in Gujarat on Tuesday and slammed the state’s BJP government, calling it “nikamma” (useless) for doing nothing when a legislator from the state was “kidnapped” and dragged away.
Addressing a gathering soon after landing in Ahmedabad, Mevani also threatened to give a call for ‘Gujarat bandh’ on June 1 if cases against Dalits in Una tehsil (filed over protests post assault on some Dalits in July 2016) and other agitators in the state are not withdrawn and demands of grade pay for policemen and other protesting groups not met by the government.
“I would like to tell the Gujarat government that you are so ‘nikamma’ (useless), that you could do nothing when the Assam police came to Gujarat to trample upon its pride. You should be ashamed of it.”
“The Assam police kidnapping an MLA from Gujarat and transporting him to Assam is an insult to the 6.5 crore Gujaratis,” the independent MLA said during the rally, which also included state Congress President Jagdish Thakor and senior party officials Arjun Modhwadia and Amit Chavda.
He made the audience take an oath that they would never vote for the BJP or attend an RSS shakha.
Mevani also took aim at the Assam administration for not apologising for a lower court’s scathing ruling on a FIR lodged against him in the northeastern state.
“Instead of feeling ashamed over the observation made by the court, questioning its conscience and reviewing its character, it (Assam government) came out with a stay order (from Gauhati High Court) so as not to publish that review order (of lower court). But it is not yet ready to say sorry,” he said.
The HC had said, among other reasons, that the lower court’s comment that the evidence against Mevani appeared to be “fabricated to keep him in detention for longer” was outside its competence in a bail case.
Mevani landed in Ahmedabad in the evening to a rousing reception from his fans. During his detention, the MLA from Vadgam in the Banaskantha district hailed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other national and Congress officials from Gujarat and Assam.
Mevani was apprehended by Assam police from Palanpur, Gujarat, two weeks ago for allegedly tweeting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He was re-arrested for allegedly punching a policewoman who was part of the police group that escorted him to Kokrajhar, Assam, just days after being released on bail in the tweet case.
The Gujarat MLA was also granted bail in the second case, and he fulfilled his pending bail paperwork before a court in Kokrajhar on Saturday. The court allowed him permission to leave Assam town because one of his bail terms was that he stay within the court’s jurisdiction.
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