Jignesh Mevani MLA arrested by Assam Police over tweets on PM Modi

Jignesh Mevani, an Independent MLA from the Vadgam constituency of Gujarat and a vocal Dalit leader, was arrested by the Assam Police in the Banaskantha district late Wednesday under the provisions of IT Act.

Mevani was arrested reportedly on a complaint by a BJP leader over now-removed tweets on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Arup Kumar Dey, a BJP leader from Kokrajhar in Assam, had filed a complaint against him.

Mevani was temporarily put up at the Palanpur city police station and then moved to Ahmedabad and was likely to be taken to Assam, said a statement from Mevani’s team Thursday.

“We don’t have much information, but (a team of) Assam Police have arrested him for an offence registered under the provisions of IT Act and allied charges. The FIR has been registered in Assam and we don’t have its copy. As local police, we were just informed by the Assam Police that they have arrested Mevani,” Banaskantha superintendent of police Akshayraj Makwana said to Indian Express.

Mevani has been arrested under Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot—if rioting be committed—if not committed ) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), he said.

Mevani’s Twitter account shows that two tweets posted by him on 18 April have been withheld on “legal demand”.

Gujarat high court lawyer Anand Yagnik, representing Mevani, told the newspaper that, he would move an application before the Assam High Court seeking “quashing of the FIR and bail for the MLA.”

“Modi ji, you can try to crush dissent by abusing the state machinery. But you can never imprison the truth,” responding to the arrest, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said.

Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor and other Congress leaders rushed to Ahmedabad airport after learning of his arrest and demonstrated against the BJP government.