A day after he was denied permission to hold a rally in Mumbai, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani slammed the central government saying he was being targeted. Regarding the FIR filed against him by the Pune police for allegedly “creating communal disharmony” during a “provocative speech,” on December 31 Mevani said not a word of his speech was inflammatory.
“Members of Sangh Parivar and the BJP made a childish attempt to tarnish my image and target me, it is an after effect of the Gujarat results and it is also because they have a sense of fear about 2019”, the newly-elected MLA said.
“Not even a single word of my speech was inflammatory, I am just being targeted. No part of my speech was provocative or inflammatory”, Mevani said during a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.
“I am an elected representative. BJP is scared of me. We want a caste-less India. Don’t Dalits have the right to protest,” the Dalit leader added.
He also denied instigating violence at Bhima Koregaon and said he had never visited the place or participated in the shutdown.
He demanded to know PM Modi’s stand on the violence at Bhima Koregaon and also said that if attacks against Dalits continued, they would teach BJP a lesson in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Jignesh Mevani and JNU student Umar Khalid were booked on Thursday by the Pune police under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), IPC sections 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) and 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public).
The F.I.R. was registered after two complainants — Akshay Bikkad and Anand Dhond – approached police and alleged Mevani and Khalid had made “provocative” comments at an event on December 31 at an event organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon.
Bhima-Koregaon violence in which a person was killed has led to protests on streets and in Parliament.
The dalit community is up in the arms over the incident.
However, the Maharashtra government has denied any dalit was killed in Bhima-Koregaon where clashes broke out between two groups on Monday during an event to mark 200 years of Bhima Koregaon battle near Pune.
On Thursday, the Mumbai police had denied Mevani permission to hold a rally.