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Jignesh Mevani arrested over tweet against PM Modi

The Vadgam MLA was arrested from Banaskantha in Gujarat and will be taken to Assam

Sabrangindia 21 Apr 2022

Jignesh Mevani

Jignesh Mevani, the independent Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Vadgam in Gujarat, was arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly offensive tweets. While two of his tweets have been blocked by Twitter in India, and police are yet to make a formal statement on the grounds of his arrest, it appears Mevani was booked based on a complaint filed by one Arup Kumar Dey of Bhabanipur village in Kokrajhar.

According to Dey’s complaint, Mevani had tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi worships and considers (Nathuram) Godse as God, and said that the Prime Minister should appeal to the public to maintain communal harmony in places like Himmatnagar and Khambat on his visit to the state on April 20. It is noteworthy that these are areas where communal violence had broken out recently. Dey claimed that the tweet could “incite a section of the masses belonging to a certain community to commit any offence against other community” and that the tweet could “cause disaffection towards a particular community”. The entire complaint may be read here: 

letter

Mevani was arrested from the Palanpur Circuit House on Banaskantha around 11 PM on April 20 by the Assam Police and taken to Ahmedabad. He will be taken to Guwahati today. According to a message shared by his team, “Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani arrested by Assam police from Palanpur circuit House. Police yet to share the copy of the FIR with us, we have been informed about some case filed against him in Assam and is likely to be deported to Assam tonight.”

In the absence of the FIR copy, it is difficult to ascertain what sections have been applied against Mevani. But going by the copy of the complaint letter and notings made underneath it, it appears he has been charged under IPC sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 153 A (promoting enmity between groups), 295 A (outraging and insulting religious beliefs), 504 (insult with intent to provoke) and 505 (public mischief).

SabrangIndia tried contacting the Superintendent of Police, Kokrajhar, but our calls went unanswered. This copy will be updated if and when the police issue a formal statement.

Meanwhile, fellow activists condemned his arrest:

 

 

Mevani, a Dalit youth leader, had shot to fame alongside Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakore, as a challenger to Bharatiya Janata Party’s dominance in the region. He was however, propelled into the spotlight when he won MLA elections despite being an independent candidate with limited resources. The timing of his arrest therefore has raised eyebrows as state assembly polls are due in Gujarat this year. Last September, when his fellow activist-turned-politician Kanhaiya Kumar had joined the Congress, Mevani has extended support to party leader Rahul Gandhi without expressly joining the party. He was expected to join the party at the end of his term as MLA.

Related:

Eventful tuesday for Congress: Kanhaiya Kumar joins, Jignesh Mevani supports

Can detain activists, cannot detain anger: Jignesh Mevani

Jignesh Mevani arrested over tweet against PM Modi

The Vadgam MLA was arrested from Banaskantha in Gujarat and will be taken to Assam

Jignesh Mevani

Jignesh Mevani, the independent Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Vadgam in Gujarat, was arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly offensive tweets. While two of his tweets have been blocked by Twitter in India, and police are yet to make a formal statement on the grounds of his arrest, it appears Mevani was booked based on a complaint filed by one Arup Kumar Dey of Bhabanipur village in Kokrajhar.

According to Dey’s complaint, Mevani had tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi worships and considers (Nathuram) Godse as God, and said that the Prime Minister should appeal to the public to maintain communal harmony in places like Himmatnagar and Khambat on his visit to the state on April 20. It is noteworthy that these are areas where communal violence had broken out recently. Dey claimed that the tweet could “incite a section of the masses belonging to a certain community to commit any offence against other community” and that the tweet could “cause disaffection towards a particular community”. The entire complaint may be read here: 

letter

Mevani was arrested from the Palanpur Circuit House on Banaskantha around 11 PM on April 20 by the Assam Police and taken to Ahmedabad. He will be taken to Guwahati today. According to a message shared by his team, “Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani arrested by Assam police from Palanpur circuit House. Police yet to share the copy of the FIR with us, we have been informed about some case filed against him in Assam and is likely to be deported to Assam tonight.”

In the absence of the FIR copy, it is difficult to ascertain what sections have been applied against Mevani. But going by the copy of the complaint letter and notings made underneath it, it appears he has been charged under IPC sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 153 A (promoting enmity between groups), 295 A (outraging and insulting religious beliefs), 504 (insult with intent to provoke) and 505 (public mischief).

SabrangIndia tried contacting the Superintendent of Police, Kokrajhar, but our calls went unanswered. This copy will be updated if and when the police issue a formal statement.

Meanwhile, fellow activists condemned his arrest:

 

 

Mevani, a Dalit youth leader, had shot to fame alongside Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakore, as a challenger to Bharatiya Janata Party’s dominance in the region. He was however, propelled into the spotlight when he won MLA elections despite being an independent candidate with limited resources. The timing of his arrest therefore has raised eyebrows as state assembly polls are due in Gujarat this year. Last September, when his fellow activist-turned-politician Kanhaiya Kumar had joined the Congress, Mevani has extended support to party leader Rahul Gandhi without expressly joining the party. He was expected to join the party at the end of his term as MLA.

Related:

Eventful tuesday for Congress: Kanhaiya Kumar joins, Jignesh Mevani supports

Can detain activists, cannot detain anger: Jignesh Mevani

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