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Ahmedabad court sentences Jignesh Mevani, 18 others to six months jail

The case was registered in 2016 with Gujarat University police station in Ahmedabad against Mevani and 19 others associated with Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch
Last Updated : 16 September 2022, 12:28 IST
Last Updated : 16 September 2022, 12:28 IST
Last Updated : 16 September 2022, 12:28 IST
Last Updated : 16 September 2022, 12:28 IST

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A metropolitan court in Ahmedabad on Friday sentenced Dalit leader and independent MLA Jignesh Mevani and eighteen of his associates to six months imprisonment in connection with an FIR registered for protesting to name a building in Gujarat University's law department after Dr B R Ambedkar.

Additional chief judicial magistrate P N Goswami pronounced the judgement holding Mevani and others guilty of charges that included rioting, and unlawful assembly among others. The court sentenced them to six months in jail and a fine of Rs 700 each. The court stayed the order for a month allowing the convicts to challenge the judgement. Among the convicts are Rakesh Maheriya, Subodh Parmar, and Dixit Parmar.

Mevani is an independent MLA from Vadgam who is likely to join Congress before the upcoming Assembly elections. After the judgement, Mevani reacted, "Gujarat government released all rapists from jail, garlanded them and said that their conduct was very good. C R Paatil, the Gujarat BJP president, has nearly 108 cases against him but in none of the cases, he had been convicted. But, this is the second case against the agitators who have been sentenced to six months in jail for carrying out a rally demanding a building to be named after Baba Saheb Ambedkar. We welcome the judgement."

The case was registered in 2016 with Gujarat University police station in Ahmedabad against Mevani and 19 others associated with Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, an organisation that Mevani heads. They had held an agitation under the Gujarat University police station area demanding the under-construction building of the law department be named after Ambedkar. The protesters led by Mevani had blocked the road and when police tried to clear it, they started undressing in protest. The police have booked them for rioting, and unlawful assembly among other charges.

Recently in May, a magisterial court in Mehsana district sentenced Mevani and nine others to three months in jail in a case registered in 2017 for taking out a rally without permission. While granting him bail, the court has prohibited him from travelling outside Gujarat without its permission.

In April, the Assam police arrested Mevani, who shot into the national limelight with his march from Ahmedabad to Una against the atrocity of four Dalit youths who were thrashed and paraded for skinning a dead cow, over a couple of tweets in which he claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi who "considers Godse as God" should appeal for peace and harmony against communal clashes in Gujarat.

Mevani was booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), section 153 (A) (promoting enmity between two communities), 295 (A) (Injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 504, (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and sections of IT acts.

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Published 16 September 2022, 11:19 IST

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