Assam court sends Jignesh Mevani to three-day police custody

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A Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Assams Kokrajhar district on Thursday rejected the bail petition of Independent Gujarat MLA and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani, and sent him to three-day police custody.

After the CJM court’s order, the lawyers of Mevani told the media that they would appeal in the higher court seeking his bail.

Earlier on Thursday, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while talking to the media on the arrest, had claimed that he was not aware of Mevani’s identity or his arrest.

The Assam police refused to share the detailed reasons for the arrest of Mevani, who is also the convenor of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch.

However, another police official on condition of anonymity said that Mevani’s arrest was made in connection with an “objectionable” comment he made through a tweet on April 18.

Mevani, who was elected from Gujarat’s Vadgam Assembly constituency, was arrested by an Assam police team from Palanpur town in Gujarat on Wednesday night after a complain was filed by an Assam BJP leader, Arup Kumar Dey, on April 18 seeking action against him under the IT Act.

Mevani was flown to Guwahati on Thursday morning from where he was taken to Kokrajhar by road.

The Assam state Congress unit, which protested the arrest of the Gujarat legislator who had earlier pledged outside support to the party, termed the arrest as a conspiracy.

The Congress has sent its legal team to Kokrajhar to look into the matter.

Assam Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah alleged that it is a conspiracy and “Goonda Giri” by the police.

“The police could not produce the details of the FIR based on which Mevani was arrested. He was arrested as he had always been vocal against the BJP and the RSS. Recently, Mevani tweeted about the Prime Minister but it had nothing objectionable,” Borah said.

The Congress leader also accused the BJP government of misusing the state’s police force to deal with a simple tweet.

In his tweet, Mevani had reportedly urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure communal harmony during his recent visit to Gujarat. The tweet was removed later.

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