New Delhi: Gujarat legislator and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Monday alleged that his arrest by the Assam Police was a pre-planned conspiracy “designed” by the Prime Minister’s Office to “destroy” him ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.
“My arrest is an act of 56-inch cowardice and it has undermined Gujarat’s pride,” Mevani told reporters in an apparent attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reported news agency PTI.
Addressing a press conference after he was granted bail by an Assam court, Mevani announced that he would take to the streets and ensure a Gujarat Bandh on June 1 seeking action against those behind the leak of 22 exam papers, the recent recovery of Rs 1.75 lakh-crore worth of drugs from Mundra Port and to press for the withdrawal of all cases against Dalits registered in Una and against minorities.
“My arrest by the Assam police was a pre-planned conspiracy. It was in blatant disregard to protocol and rules for an MLA,” PTI reported citing Mevani.
“It is my charge that this is a conspiracy designed by the Prime Minister’s Office. Gujarat elections are due soon and this is being done to destroy me. I fear that there is every chance that by now they may have planted something in my computer which has been seized by them,” he further claimed, PTI reported.
He also asserted that he will fight all cases against him in court, but demanded all cases against Dalits in Una and minorities in his Vadgam constituency be taken back as was done in the case of the Patidar community members during their pro-quota agitation.
He also demanded the paper leak cases be investigated by a Special Investigation Team and the Mundra Port operator be investigated in the case of seizure of drugs.
“Otherwise, we will take to the streets and launch a Gujarat Bandh on June 1,” he announced.
Mevani was granted bail by a court in Assam’s Barpeta district on Friday in a case related to the alleged assault of a woman police officer.
Mevani, an Independent MLA backed by the Congress, was first arrested on April 19 from Palanpur town in Gujarat and was brought to Kokrajhar for tweeting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was then alleged that he assaulted the woman officer when she was accompanying him from Guwahati airport to Kokrajhar along with senior police officials.
(With inputs from PTI)