Anti-Dalit BJP govt is targeting me case after case: Jignesh Mevani on jail sentence

“BJP govt’s priority is to go behind those who fight for poor landless Dalits,” says Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani after a magisterial court in Gujarat’s Mehsana convicted him for holding a rally in Mehsana town in July 2017 without police permission.

On Thursday, Mevani and nine others have been sentenced to three months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 each.

“The “Azadi Kooch” rally was supposed to be held to demand intervention of the Gujarat govt to reclaim the rightful land allotted to Dalits which was illegally occupied by goons & anti-social elements,” reads the statement shared by the Dalit leader.

On 12 July 2017, to mark one year of the public flogging of some Dalits in Una, Mevani and others organised the march from Mehsana to Dhanera of the neighbouring Banaskantha district.

“As a result of the march, thousands of landless Dalits got possession of their rightful land after 49 years. Taking this forward, more than 1500 acres of illegally occupied land worth Rs. 300 crores were reclaimed for Dalits of Gujarat. Land for landless Dalits was Babasaheb Ambedkar’s last unfulfilled dream & it is an honour for having the privilege of making his dream for an equal India come true”.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Reshma Patel is among the nine convicted.

“It is an irony that despite laws like Land Grabbing Act & Atrocities Act in force, instead of those illegally occupying the land of poor Dalits, the BJP govt’s priority is to go behind those who fight for poor landless Dalits,” says the statement.

Mevani informed that he will challenge the verdict in higher courts.

“I have no regrets whatsoever and I will readily do this all over again if needed for the rights of my Dalit brothers & sisters.”

“I do hope, and hope is all I can, that the same vigour with which the anti-Dalit BJP govt is targeting me case after case, is also shown 1) to give justice to lakhs of students whose careers are ruined because of paper leaks, 2) form a fair SIT to investigate thousands of crores worth drugs being peddled into our Gujarat 3) catch “scamsters” who have fled the country with thousands of crores of hardworking Indians’ money.”