Vadgam MLA and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani has raised questions on his safety and security after a discussion on a Whatsapp group called ‘ADR Police & Media’, which has members from the media and senior police people, went viral on Friday. In the whatsapp group, two videos — one in which a group of policemen are seen beating up a person dressed up like a politician and the other in which UP CM Yogi Adityanath in an interview, is answering questions around encounters done by the UP police– were uploaded after which a message by the DySP of Ahmedabad rural appeared. “Those who want to be the baap of police and call the police as ‘lakhota’ (marbles) and those who take videos of police should remember that with people like you, the police will be like this. Scores will be settled. ‘ Gujarat Police’,” reads the message.
This message is followed by a thumbs up emoji by the SP of Ahmedabad rural. “I just copy pasted the messages that were forwarded in another group. It has been wrongly interpreted. It was not a personal message and neither is it a threat. It was just shared from one group to the other,” said RB Devdha, DySP of Ahmedabad rural.
Reacting to viral whatsapp conversation Jignesh Mevani tweeted, “Jignesh Mevani’s encounter? Here is the link to a web portal which exposes a Whatsapp communication where two top cops are discussing how I could be killed in an encounter. Can you believe this?” .
In a telephonic conversation with an The Indian Express reporter, Mevani said,“This is a serious matter. Two top police people are indicating that I can be killed in an encounter. I am going to file a complaint to the DGP, the home minister and home secretary.”
On February 18, a video went viral in which Mevani is seen arguing with the police as he was detained just before he was to start Ahmedabad bandh. The bandh was called in protest of the death of Dalit activist Bhanu Vankar. In the video, Mevani is seen saying “tara baap ni jagi chey,” (Is it your fathers property) and ‘Lakhota’ to the plain clothed policemen who are trying to detain him.