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Opposition leaders protest outside Assam police station where Jignesh Mevani is held

The Gujarat MLA’s lawyer said he might move the Gauhati high court for bail. Congress spokesperson Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjee lamented "such a big punishment for a mere tweet" while Akil Gogoi said the MLA was "prepared to fight".

Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, who won the Assembly election as an independent, was present at the protest. (Photo: Twitter/@AkhilGogoiAG)

The Congress on Friday protested in front of the police station in Assam where Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani has been held after his arrest from his home state in a case registered over a tweet criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Thursday, he was remanded in three-days’ police custody by a court in Kokrajhar, which rejected his bail plea.

Mevani, an independent MLA who pledged support to the Congress last September, was arrested by the Assam police from Gujarat’s Banaskantha district following a complaint by a BJP leader from the Northeast state that the MLA had allegedly tweeted that Modi “considered Godse as God”.

State Congress spokesperson Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjee said party leaders from Kokrajhar, Dhubri Chirang and Bongaigaon districts had participated in the protest. “We went to meet him, but not all of us were granted permission,” he said.

The protest lasted for around three hours.

“We raised slogans over his illegal arrest,” Bhattacharjee said and added, “The entire process is unconstitutional…such a big punishment for a mere tweet.”

Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, who won the Assembly election as an independent, was also present at the protest. “Today met @jigneshmevani80 at Kokrajhar Police Station. He is in a pretty jovial mood and is in a fighting spirit. He doesn’t seem to be tensed at all,” Gogoi tweeted.

Mevani will be produced in the court on Sunday, after his remand period expires. “Since it is a holiday, he will be presented in the judicial magistrate’s chamber,” said Manoj Bhagawati, head of the Congress’s legal cell and Mevani’s lawyer.

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“We are still contemplating the next steps. We may move the Gauhati High Court for bail,” said Bhagawati, adding that some Delhi-based advocates were likely to come to Assam to represent the young MLA. He also said that when he met Mevani, the latter was “mentally strong” and “prepared to fight”.

First published on: 22-04-2022 at 10:15:43 pm
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