August 6, 2021 7:51:05 pm
Aam Aadmi Party’s Gujarat president Gopal Italia was arrested by Mehsana Police on Friday, as he arrived with party workers to pay a visit to a temple in Unjha taluka as part of the party’s outreach programme.
According to police, Italia was arrested by Mehsana A division police station over an FIR filed on December 14, 2020 where Italia along with 25 other AAP workers was booked for doing ‘chakka jam’ and demonstrating on road.
The arrest of Italia on Friday resulted in AAP workers protesting and staging a sit in in front of Mehsana A division police station, alleging vendetta by the state government, as Italia was finally given bail from the PS premises in the evening hours.
On Friday, Italia had arrived in Mehsana as part of AAP’s Jan Samvedna Yatra second phase, to visit Umiya Mata temple in Unjha taluka.
“AAP had organised the second phase of Jan Samvedna Yatra from Mehsana on Friday however before Gopal Italia could reach Umiya Mata temple, he was arrested by the police at the Mehsana Toll Naka. The manner in which AAP’s popularity is increasing, it has begun giving headaches to the state government which is misusing police to file fake cases and threaten our leaders,” said Nikhil Savani, AAP worker.
Speaking to The Indian Express, JS Patel, police inspector and in-charge, Mehsana A division PS said, “Italia was arrested in an FIR wherein he was booked under sections 188 for disobedience to order given by public servant, 341 for wrongful restraint, 269 for unlawful and negligent act likely to spread infection of disease and 143 for being a member of unlawful assembly along with a section of epidemic diseases act. He has been given bail from the PS by Friday evening.”
As per the contents of the FIR viewed by The Indian Express, Italia and 25 other AAP workers were booked on December 14, 2020 for holding a meeting in Mehsana city premises without taking prior police permission. The FIR further states that when the AAP workers were stopped from holding the meet by the police, they sat on the main road as form of protest and allegedly attempted to do chakka jam.
Italia addressed the media after he was given bail wherein he said, “We had already announced the starting of our Jan Samvedna program in North Gujarat from Mehsana by taking blessings of the Umiya Mata in Unjha Taluka. The case against me is related to a meeting held back in December 14, 2020 but the question is that after the FIR has been filed, I have been to Mehsana at least five times but no police action had been taken against me. Only today when I came to Mehsana to start Jan Samvedna program then action was taken against me. A total of 40 cops from Mehsana Crime Branch came at Mehsana toll naka to arrest me. Had such a police system being set up for the common man also then there was no need for any Aam Aadmi Party to come to Gujarat.”
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