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Jignesh Mevani’s ultimatum: Take back cases against Dalits or ‘Gujarat bandh’ on June 1

New Delhi: Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, who was recently released on bail by an Assam court, on Tuesday (May 4) warned to give a call for ‘Gujarat bandh’ on June 1 if cases against Dalits in Una tehsil– filed over protests after assault on some Dalits in July 2016 – and other protestors were not withdrawn.

Speaking at a gathering in Ahmedabad, Dalit leader Mevani called the BJP-led Gujarat government “useless” for doing nothing when a legislator from the state was “kidnapped” and taken away, PTI reported. The gathering was also attended by Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor, and senior party leaders including Arjun Modhwadia and Amit Chavda.

“I would like to tell the Gujarat government that you are so ‘nikamma’ (useless), that you could do nothing when the Assam police came to Gujarat to trample upon its pride. You should be ashamed of it,” he said.

“The Assam police kidnapping an MLA from Gujarat and taking him to Assam is an insult to 6.5 crore people of Gujarat,” the independent MLA added.

Mevani also made the people assembled for the event take an oath to “never vote for the BJP or attend an RSS shakha”. Moreover, he hit out at the BJP-led Assam government for not saying “sorry” over a lower court’s critical observation regarding his re-arrest in another case. “Instead of feeling ashamed over the observation made by the court, questioning its conscience and reviewing its character, it (Assam government) came out with a stay order (from Gauhati High Court) so as not to publish that review order (of lower court). But it is not yet ready to say sorry,” the Gujarat leader said.

On April 20, Mevani was arrested by an Assam police team from Palanpur town in Gujarat. Soon after his bail in the tweet case, he was rearrested on April 25 on different charges, including “outraging the modesty of a lady police officer”.

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