Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader JigneshMevani and nine others have been convicted by lower court in Mehsana over a rally they organised nearly five years ago. The ‘Azadi march’ from Mehsana to Dhanera in Banaskantha district was held in July 2017 without police permission and Mr Mevani and the others have been convicted for unlawful assembly.
All of them have been sentenced to three months of imprisonment and fine of Rs 1,000 each.
Last month, Jignesh Mevani was arrested twice by the Assam police on various charges.
He was arrested from Gujarat’s Palanpur town by a team of Assam police after a complaint was filed over his tweets against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He was granted bail in that case, but was arrested almost immediately after in a case of alleged molestation of a woman police constable.
He was granted bail in the second case on Friday and was released the next day.
At a press conference held at Gujarat’s Congress headquarters soon after, Mr Mevani said he was jailed at the behest of the Assam government’s “political bosses in Delhi”.
“The action of the Assam police is shameful. I was jailed for nine days, and suffered but didn’t complain. Assam’s judiciary called a spade a spade that FIR against me is frivolous. It was done at the behest of their political bosses in Delhi,” Mr Mevani told reporters, referring to the lower court bail order in which the court said the second case against him was “concocted”.
Slamming the police, the Barpeta court said “converting our hard-earned democracy into a police state is simply unthinkable” and asked the High Court to give directions to the Assam police to “reform itself”.
The Gauhati High Court, however, said the Barpeta court had ”crossed its limits” in its order and “demoralised” the police force and the state government.