The Ahmedabad police on Tuesday morning arrested Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and activist Sagar Rabari, a day after they had announced to disrupt Vibrant Gujarat Summit being held in Gandhinagar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also attending the event. A police team arrested Mevani at his home in Meghaninagar and brought him to Gujarat University police station. Police said that Mevani, convenor of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch and Rabari, general secretary of Gujarat Khedut Samaj, were arrested for violation of police commissioner’s notification under section-144 of CrPC that prohibits rally or any public meeting of more than four persons.
Joint Commissioner of Police, sector-1, Piyush Patel said that the duo was arrested after an FIR against them was lodged on Monday at Vadaj police station under section-144 of CrPC. He said that Mevani has been kept at Gujarat University police station, far away from Vadaj police station in order to maintain law and order situation.
Moments before he was arrested, Mevani sent out a Whatsapp message saying, “I am arrested by Gujarat police for announcing to disrupt the vibrant Gujarat summit, a fraud of the country. Farmers leaders, Patidar leader and Dalits all arrested. If we want to do peaceful demonstration there is no scope, if we ask Modi ji how many jobs you could create through these vibrant Gujarat summit then there is no answer, if we say why fertile land of farmers is handed over to industries then, they dub us as anti-development. Land is available for business groups and corporates giants but not for Dalits and tribals, not for land less class…”
The security was heightened at the University police station with several barricades set up on all the roads leading to the police station. Police said
that in Vadaj it was anticipated that there could be a backlash by Mevani’s supporters and therefore, he was brought to varsity police station. Meanwhile, OBC leader Alpesh Thakore, who had opted out of the proposed protest against Vibrant Gujarat summit, said on Tuesday in press conference, that he would visit Mevani in the evening.