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Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani Sent To 5 Days Police Custody, Agitating Congress Leaders Detained

Mevani was on Monday arrested in a case of an alleged assault filed by a woman police officer after he was granted bail in a case related to a tweet on PM Modi.

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Dalit leader and independent MLA Jignesh Mevani File Photo

Independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani was on Tuesday remanded to five days of police custody by a court in Assam's Barpeta district.

Mevani was on Monday arrested in a case of an alleged assault filed by a woman police officer after he was granted bail in Assam's Kokrajhar earlier in the day in a case related to a tweet he made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the tweet, he allegedly said that Modi "considered Godse as God".

It is alleged that Mevani assaulted the woman police officer when she was accompanying him from Guwahati airport to Kokrajhar along with senior police officers. 

Mevani has been booked under IPC sections 294 (uttering obscene words in public), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assaulting a public servant in the execution of duty) and 354 (using criminal force to a woman intending to outrage her modesty).

Mevani was first arrested on April 19 from Palanpur in Gujarat after an FIR was registered against him in Kokrajhar. He was brought to Assam two days later on transit remand and was remanded to a three-day police custody on April 21 by the Kokrajhar Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Mevani is an independent legislater from Gujarat aligned with the Congress party. He earlier announced that he would contest the next elections as a Congress party candidate. 

In a separate incident on Tuesday, senior leaders from the Assam unit of Congress party were detained by the police in Barpeta when they were carrying out a march demanding Mevani's release. The leaders were later released. Superintendent of Police Amitabh Sinha said no one was taken into custody.
       
Congress MP Abdul Khaleque, who was one of the leaders taken to the Barpeta police station, alleged that the BJP has no respect for democracy and "is all out to stifle freedom of speech which we cannot allow at any cost. We demand immediate release of Mevani".

Khaleq said that besides him, Congress MLAs Abdur Rahim Ahmed, Jakir Hussain Sikdar, Pradip Sarkar, Indian Youth Congress President Srinivas BV and other party leaders had taken out the procession demanding Mevani's immediate release and were marching to the Deputy Commissioner's office when the police stopped them. 

He told PTI, "We were forcefully put inside police vans and taken to Barpeta police station. After some time, we were released." 

Following their release, they sat on a dharna demanding release of Mevani.

(With PTI inputs)

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