Court bans Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani from leaving Gujarat

A session court in Mehsana city of Gujarat on Saturday has ordered Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani and 10 other accused to not leave Gujarat without the court’s permission in a 2017 old
case related to organizing of a march without police permission.

On 5th May this year, the court had ordered 3 months of imprisonment for Mevani and the other accused in the case. To avoid imprisonment, the judgement of the lower court had to be challenged within one month from the judgement date.

As the accused approached the session court for bail earlier in the day, the judge did grant bail but with conditions imposed that Mevani and other accused cannot leave Gujarat and need to put their passports in the custody of the court.

Other accused in this case includes NCP leader Reshma Patel and coordinator of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch Subodh Parmar.

It is noteworthy that on completion of one year of the Una Movement, an Azadi Kooch call was given by the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch to reclaim the lands allotted by the government for Dalits but was encroached upon by anti-social elements over the past 50 years.

The yatra was going to take place from Mehsana to Dhanera in Banaskantha. The police filed FIR against Jignesh Mevani and 10 others for holding rallies without police permission. Despite of the rally not taking place due to police detention, the government was forced to intervene and allot the land back to the dalit family.

Speaking on the judgement of the court, Jignesh Mevani said, “I respect the decision given by the court but it is clear that the government is leaving no stone unturned to trouble me. I am a leader welcomed by people across the country. Recently, I was in Kerala to campaign for a by-poll. The BJP fears my rise across India and that is why they are trying their best to harass me by whatever means they can. But I am happy and proud that due to our Azadi Kooch yatra, land encroached upon since past 50 years was left free by anti-social elements. The government of Gujarat never takes any initiatives for the poor and the landless people hence we had to do the yatra to awaken the government of the day.”

Recently, Assam police have also slapped Jignesh Mevani with two cases and he was taken to the state from Gujarat in the month of April where he had to spend nine days in custody before getting bail from a lower court.

Mevani said, “Now that I am banned from leaving the state, this is also a setback for Assam government as well. Now the police can’t just land in Gujarat and forcibly take me to Assam by slapping false cases against me”.

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