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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Jignesh Mevani sent to judicial custody; court reserves judgment for Monday

Mevani, an independent MLA who had in September last pledged support to the Congress party, was arrested in Gujarat by the Assam Police on Thursday and flown to Assam where a court remanded him in three-day police custody.

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati |
Updated: April 25, 2022 12:39:12 pm
Rights Bodies demand Mevani’s release: Stop BJP from creating fear among people, Congress urges GovernorThe arrest of 41-year-old Mevani by the BJP-ruled Assam Police highlights the growing repression by the BJP and its extended fears of a Dalit. (PTI)

Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, arrested in connection to an allegedly defamatory tweet against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate court in Assam’s Kokrajhar district Sunday. The local court, however, reserved the judgment on his bail petition for Monday, and sent Mevani to judicial custody for a day.

“Considering the nature of the matter the court needs sufficient time to go through the materials on record to decide the bail petition. The bail petition will be decided tomorrow. Let the accused be sent to judicial custody till tomorrow,” said the court order on Monday night.

Mevani, an independent MLA who had in September last pledged support to the Congress party, was arrested in Gujarat by the Assam Police on Thursday and flown to Assam where a court remanded him in three-day police custody. The arrest followed an Assam BJP leader’s complaint over an allegedly defamatory tweet by Mevani against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mevani had allegedly tweeted that Modi “considered Godse as God”.

On Sunday’s hearing, the Assam Police had sought ten days’ custody, a senior police official said.

Angshuman Bora, Mevani’s counsel said that there was no “prima facie evidence for the charges” against the MLA.

“We had applied for bail on the basis that there is no prima facie evidence for the charges against him. All these sections he has been booked for…these are not applicable to the facts of this case,” Bora told The Indian Express. “Section 153—one of the charges against him — is about promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste, community, language etc. What he said has nothing to do with communities or religion,” he added.

Bora added that if the bail is rejected, then Mevani would move before the sessions court in Kokrajhar. He added that the arrest was in violation of previous Supreme Court judgements.

Meanwhile the Assam Congress Sunday held a silent demonstration in Kokrajhar district to protest Mevani’s arrest.

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