The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday attacked ruling BJP in Gujarat over the detention of Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, saying the episode reflects the “party’s fear” and added that its days in the state are “numbered”.
“This is the way a king (Modi) celebrates his birthday. Dahod, Ahmedabad, Navsari and Gandhinagar have been turned into fortresses. While being the chief minister of the state, Modi would refer to the people of the state as his 5 crore Gujaratis, but now he is afraid of the same citizens,” Ashutosh said.
The arrest was made the night before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to arrive in his home state Gujarat for his 66th birthday. It seems like the Gujarat government does not want to take any chances with the PM celebrating his birthday.
Modi landed in Ahmedabad just hours before 29-year-old Mohammad Ayub succumbed to a brutal thrashing at the hands of alleged gau rakshaks on 16 September.
Dubbing it ‘Dadri Part II’, Jignesh Mevani asked Dalits to rally behind Ayub’s family to demand justice. This also made him an automatic security concern for the Prime Minister.
Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani was first taken into preventive detention from the Ahmedabad airport late Friday evening, then placed under house arrest post-midnight. Late Saturday afternoon Mevani was allowed to go to Dholka city to address a scheduled rally on the condition that he would be accompanied by policemen.
Jignesh Mevani spearheaded the Independence Day ‘Chalo Una!’ march protesting the flogging of four Dalit tannery workers who were skinning a dead cow.
Participating in the Dalit Swabhiman Sangharsh rally at Delhi’s Parliament Street on Friday, Mevani even announced a ‘Rail Roko’ protest on 1 October.
We had given the Gujarat government a deadline of 15-Sep to start the processes for allocating 5-acre land for Dalits, failing which we will stage a Rail-Roko (Block Railways) protest.Jignesh Mevani, Convenor, Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti
In Dholka city, Jignesh Mevani demanded that the district administration allot the 5 acre land to Dalits as mandated by a 2006 court order. Jignesh and his team also observed two minutes of silence for Mohammad Ayub and called upon the entire Dalit community to raise their voices and ensure his killers are arrested.
Jignesh Mevani will be kept under surveillance until Modi leaves Gujarat.