Mevani, Cong leaders detained in view of PM's Gujarat visit

Last Updated 17 September 2016, 15:38 IST
Face of the Dalit agitation in Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, was detained by police at the city airport ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's arrival here, police said today.

Mevani was detained at around 8 PM yesterday, after he landed at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport here from Delhi. The Prime Minister arrived at the airport around an hour later as part of his Gujarat tour.

Meanwhile, Dahod Police also detained 20 Congress workers and three party MLAs and one AAP worker ahead of Modi's rally in the tribal district held this morning. According to police, these detentions were aimed at ensuring that law and order is maintained.

While Mevani was released late last night, Congress workers and leaders were let off this afternoon, police said.

"Mevani was detained as part of the preventive measure. He was released later, " a police official seeking anonymity said.

After receiving information about his detention, a large number of dalit leaders, associated with Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti, reached the city crime branch headquarters and staged a demonstration as he was kept there during detention.

"We staged a demonstration as Mevani was held by police without any reason. He was released late last night at around 2 AM," Mevani's close aide, Subodh Parmar said.

Mevani has been leading the agitation against the state government following the Una dalit flogging incident that had taken place in July. He had recently organised several protests over the issues.

Modi, who arrived here at around 9.15 PM last night, was first felicitated by state BJP leaders at a ceremony at the airport upon his arrival. Later today, he addressed a rally in Limkheda town of Dahod district in the morning and one at Navsari this evening.

Ahead of his arrival in Dahod, police detained at least 23 Congress MLAs and workers to prevent them from causing any "trouble". Those detained include Congress MLAs from Dahod district - Chandikaben Bariya, Vajesang Panada and Mitesh Garasia. Former Congress MP from Dahod Prabha Taviad was also among the detainees.

"These Congress leaders were detained as they had planned to disrupt the PM's event. Apart from these 23 Congress leaders, we also detained one AAP worker ahead of the rally. All of them were released later," Police Sub Inspector of Limkhedal, P H Vasava said.
(Published 17 September 2016, 15:38 IST)

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