'PMO's pre-planned conspiracy': Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on his arrest
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Monday alleged his recent arrest was a pre-planned conspiracy "designed" by the Prime Minister's Office to "destroy" him ahead of the 2022 Gujarat polls. "I call this 56 inches of cowardice, using a woman to frame me in a false case...the Prime Minister's Office was involved in this," he stated, referring to PM Narendra Modi's "56-inch chest" assertion.
- Mevani is a prominent Dalit leader and an independent MLA from Vadgam. He's known for his vocal criticism of the ruling BJP and PM Modi.
- He was arrested by the Assam Police last month over tweets critical of Modi but was granted bail.
- However, within a few hours after his bail, he was re-arrested in a different case—which an Assam court described as "manufactured."
Mevani was initially arrested from Gujarat by the Assam Police for anti-Modi tweets "promoting enmity between communities." However, the second case against him was filed for allegedly "assaulting and outraging" the modesty of a woman police personnel.
"My arrest by the Assam Police was a pre-planned conspiracy. It was in blatant disregard to protocol and rules for an MLA," Mevani was quoted as saying by PTI. "Gujarat elections are due soon...this is being done to destroy me." "I fear that there is every chance...by now they [PMO] may have planted something on my computer which has been seized by them."
Mevani was released from prison on Saturday after Assam's Barpeta sessions court granted him bail on Friday. Criticizing police for attempting to frame Mevani, Justice Aparesh Chakraborty stated, "Converting our hard-earned democracy into a police state is simply unthinkable." He requested the Gauhati HC to take up a petition on its own and pass orders to curb the abuse of power by the police.
Referring to the court's harsh remarks in his bail order, Mevani said the CM Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam government should be "ashamed" of itself. He asserted, "On April 19th, the FIR was registered. [Assam] Police traveled over 2,500km on the same day to arrest me."
Mevani on Monday also threatened to launch a Gujarat Bandh on June 1, if his demands weren't met. He demanded action against those responsible for the leak of 22 examination papers as well as the recent recovery of Rs 1.75 lakh crore worth of drugs at Mundra Port. The MLA also sought the dismissal of cases against Dalits in Una and minorities in Vadgam.