The arrest by the Assam police was a pre-planned conspiracy at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to ‘destroy’ him ahead of Assembly elections, independent Gujarat lawmaker Jignesh Mevani alleged on Monday.
Mr. Mevani, who is associated with the Congress, said he feared that something may be “planted” in his computer that has been seized by the police, and described his arrest as “56-inch cowardice”. He noted that that it was shameful that the judiciary had to comment that “Assam is becoming a police State”.
Gujarat bandh call
Addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters, Mr Mevani announced that he would hit the streets and call for a Gujarat bandh on June 1 over a range of issue. He said he would seek action against those behind the leak of papers of 22 exams over the past 8-10 years, question the recovery of narcotics from Mundra port that is valued at ₹1.75 lakh crore and press for the withdrawal of all cases against Dalits in Una and against minorities in the State.
“My arrest is an act of 56-inch cowardice and it has undermined Gujarat’s pride,” he stated in an apparent swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 56-inch chest assertion. “My arrest by the Assam police was a pre-planned conspiracy. It was in blatant disregard to protocol and rules for an MLA”, he said.
On April 19, the Assam police picked him up from Gujarat and took him to Assam after a BJP worker of the State filed a case against him for his now deleted tweet that said Mr. Modi “considered Godse as god”. He was rearrested the day he got bail on charges of assaulting a policewoman. However, a court in Barpeta district, while granting him bail, came down heavily on the police and urged the the Gauhati High Court to consider directing the police to reform itself to “prevent registration of false FIR like the present case”.
Challenges BJP leaders
Asserting that his tweet was an appeal to the Prime Minister to give a call for peace and harmony in Gujarat, he said, “Does this mean you do not want to appeal for peace and harmony...I challenge BJP leaders to say Godse ‘murdabad’ from the Red Fort, if they are not Godse bhakts”.
“It is my charge that this is a conspiracy designed by the Prime Minister’s Office. Gujarat elections are due soon and this is being done to destroy me. I fear there is every chance that by now they may have planted something on my computer which has been seized by them,” he alleged.
The woman police officer was put under “pressure” to complain against him, but he would not go against her “öut of generosity”, he stated.
“It is impossible that the Assam Chief Minister does not even know about my arrest. He got offences registered against me at the instance of his political bosses,” he responded to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s claim that he was not aware of the arrest.