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Assam CM Claims he Isn’t Aware of Mevani’s Identity; Cong Rushes Legal Team for Aid

PTI |
The Vadgam MLA and dalit leader, a vocal critic of RSS/BJP, was arrested from Palanpur town in Gujarat on Wednesday allegedly for tweeting against Modi.
Jignesh Mewani arrested in Assam

Image Courtesy: Twitter

Guwahati/Kokrajhar: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday claimed that he was not aware of Jignesh Mevani's identity, hours after the Vadgam MLA, arrested over a purported tweet, was brought to the Northeastern state from Gujarat. 

The state Congress unit, however, smelt a conspiracy behind the arrest and rushed legal experts to the aid of the apprehended dalit leader, who recently pledged his support to the grand old party. 

Sarma, responding to a mediaperson’s query on the sidelines of a programme, claimed that he was not aware of who Mevani was. 

"I don’t know. Who is he?" Sarma sought to know when asked for his reaction to the arrest.           

"I am not aware," the chief minister added. 

Mevani was apprehended from Palanpur town in Gujarat on Wednesday night after a First Information Report (FIR) under various sections of the IPC and the IT Act was filed in Kokrajhar Police Station. 

He was flown to Guwahati from Gujarat on Thursday morning and then taken to Korajhar by road. 

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhupen Borah, criticising the police action, alleged that it smacked of conspiracy. 

"Police did not give details of the FIR based on which Mevani was arrested. Mevani has always been vocal against the BJP and the RSS," he had said, shortly after the arrest.

Borah also maintained that people of Assam were suffering from insecurity due to rising cases of murders, dacoity and other crimes, but the state’s police force is more focused on dealing with a simple tweet rather than protecting its citizens. 

APCC chief spokesperson Manjit Mahanta told PTI that the party deputed a team of legal experts to help Mevani. 

"Our legal team has already reached Kokrajhar. It will help Mevani to procure bail and also provide any other legal assistance that he may need," the spokesperson stated. 

Mahanta also said that the Congress would build up a movement against the government if Mevani was not released on bail. 

"We will wait for two days owing to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation elections (to be held on Friday). If Mevani is not given bail in the meantime, we will start a movement."

According to the FIR that led to Mevani's arrest, he had purportedly written a tweet, claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "considered Godse as God". 

The independent MLA from Vadgam seat in Banaskantha had used the same tweet to also urge Modi to appeal for communal harmony during his visit to the Gujarat, the FIR at Kokrajhar Police Station, which was accessed by PTI, said. 

Flaying the arrest, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed it as "undemocratic" and "unconstitutional".

Gandhi said it was an insult to the people who elected him as a public representative.

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