A sessions court in Gujarat's Mehsana ordered Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani and 10 other accused to not leave the state without permission in connection with a case dating back to 2017, in which Mevani had organised a march without the police's permission, a press release stated on Friday, 3 June.
On 5 May, a court had ordered the imprisonment of Mevani and other accused for a period of three months with regard to the case. To avoid imprisonment, the judgment of the lower court had to be challenged within one month from the date of the judgment, the press release added.
As the accused approached the session court for bail earlier in the day, the judge granted bail, but with the condition that Mevani could not leave Gujarat and had to submit his passport to the court.
Other accused persons in this case include Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Reshma Patel and coordinator of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch Subodh Parmar.
The Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch had called for a yatra in support of reclaiming land allotted to Dalits by the government, which was allegedly encroached upon by 'anti-social' elements.
The march was to take place from Mehsana to Dhanera. However, the police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Mevani and others for holding the rally without obtaining prior permission.
"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," Mevani said while reacting to the judgement.
He also added that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was afraid of him, and was thus attempting to "harass" him.
"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 the last 50 years was let free by anti-social elements," he added.
Taking a swipe at the BJP government in Gujarat, he said that the state never takes any initiatives for the poor and the landless.
Previous Charges Against Mevani
Speaking on a case in connection with which he was taken into custody by the Assam Police in April this year, Mevani said, "Now that I am banned from leaving the state, this is also a setback for Assam government. Now the police can't just land up in Gujarat and forcibly take me to Assam by slapping false cases against me.
Mevani was arrested in Gujarat by the Assam Police on 20 April for his tweets regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was later flown to Assam and produced in a court in Kokrajhar.
The complaint, filed by BJP leader Arup Kumar Dey, stated that the 41-year-old leader, in a tweet, had said, "PM Modi worships Godse" and "that the PM on his Gujarat visit must make an appeal for harmony in light of the recent events of communal violence in the state."
After receiving bail in the case, he was charged with another case pertaining to alleged assault on a woman police officer. He was later granted bail in the second case as well.