Jignesh  Mevani
Jignesh MevaniIANS (File photo)

Jignesh Mevani re-arrested in Assam soon after court grants bail

Guwahati, April 25, 2022

Assam police on Monday re-arrested independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, soon after a court in Kokrajhar district granted bail to him, six days after he was arrested by Assam police in connection with an "objectionable" tweet against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The police from Barpeta district arrested Mevani on different charges, including outraging the modesty of a woman police officer.

The other charges levelled against the legislator include IPC 294 (obscene acts or words in public), IPC 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 354 (Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will there by outrage her modesty).

A woman sub-inspector had filed a complaint with the Barpeta Road police station on April 21 against Mevani alleging "on April 21 while I was escorting the arrested accused person, Jignesh Mevani, from Guwahati airport to Kokrajhar along with other police officials, the arrested accused person uttered slang words towards me".

"When I asked him to behave, he got agitated and used more slang words. He pointed finger towards me and tried to frighten me and pushed me on my seat with force. He thus assaulted me during the execution of my legal duty of being a public servant and outraged my modesty by touching me inappropriately while pushing. After reaching Kokrajhar, I immediately informed the matter to my senior officers," read the complaint, which is available with IANS.

The Gujarat legislator was first arrested on Wednesday night in connection with an "objectionable" comment against the Prime Minister he made through a tweet on April 18.

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

The Chief Judicial Magistrate's court in Kokrajhar district on Thursday rejected the bail petition of the Dalit activist and sent him to three-day police custody.

On Sunday, after hearing his bail petition, the court reserved its order and sent him to one-day judicial custody and asked the police to produce Mevani again in the court on Monday.

Before his re-arrest, Mevani said that it is a deep-rooted conspiracy by the BJP and RSS.

"They (BJP and RSS) are doing this to tarnish my image and are doing this systematically. They did it to Rohit Vemula, they did it to Chandrasekhar Azad, now they are targeting me," he told the media outside the court complex.

The Gujarat legislator was arrested last week from his home state following a complaint filed by an Assam BJP leader seeking action against him under the IT Act.

Ever since the arrest of Mevani, who had earlier pledged outside support to the Congress, the party has been holding demonstrations in different parts of Assam, terming the arrest as a 'conspiracy'.

It also sent its legal team to Kokrajhar to look into the matter.

Assam Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah had alleged that it is a conspiracy and "goonda giri" by the police, while accusing the BJP government of misusing the state's police force to deal with a simple tweet.

A delegation of the All India United Democratic Front also visited Mevani at the police station.

CPI-M legislator Manoranjan Talukdar and Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi too had met Mevani at the police station.

The 41-year-old lawmaker was charged with criminal conspiracy, offence related to place of worship, outraging religious feelings, and provocation that might cause breach of peace.

In his complaint, BJP leader Arup Kumar Dey had alleged that Mevani's comments could "incite a section of the people belonging to a certain community".


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