Guwahati: Independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, who had been arrested by Assam Police over tweets against Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, was re-arrested immediately after being granted bail by a local court in Kokrajhar Monday.
Five days ago, Mevani was picked up by Assam Police from Gujarat following a complaint about his tweets, which have now been withheld by the social media site.
“After the bail order from the Kokrajhar court, immediately they came up with the new case and the Barpeta police picked him up,” Mevani’s lawyer and senior advocate in the Gauhati High Court, Angshuman Bora told ThePrint.
“He was picked up without the FIR. Just a write-up and warrant indicating that he had misbehaved with a lady police officer in Barpeta. But he has been in police custody for the last few days,” he added.
According to Bora, Mevani was arrested under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 354 (assault or use of criminal form on a woman), and 294 (uttering obscene words in a public place) of the Indian Penal Code.
Superintendent of Police in Barpeta, Amitava Sinha, said a complaint was lodged by a woman police officer on 21 April. “The allegation is preventing a public servant from the lawful discharge of duties and outraging her modesty,” he said.
On 21 April, Mevani was brought to Kokrajhar jail from Guwahati.
Opposition parties in Assam have been up in arms against the arrest of Mevani, who is the lawmaker from Gujarat’s Vadgam constituency.
“This is not only an attack on Jignesh Mevani, this is an attack on the voice of freedom. Those who were speaking the truth are now the BJP’s enemy. They are Narendra Modi’s enemy,” said Bhupen Kumar Borah, president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee.
AIUDF’s Ashraful Hussain said the re-arrest of the Gujarati leader was a ‘travesty of justice’.
.@jigneshmevani80 arrested again by Barpeta Police, allegedly for ‘assaulting’ officials, after he was granted bail by local court in Kokrajhar. One more case filed against him at Goalpara. Travesty of Justice!
— Ashraful Hussain (@AshrafulMLA) April 25, 2022
On 18 April, Mevani had posted tweets in which he had described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “worshipper” of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.
Arup Kumar Dey, a BJP leader from Kokrajhar and a member of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), filed a police complaint over Mevani’s tweets the next day.
“The circulation of the tweet published in the Twitter has caused widespread criticism and has the propensity to disturb public tranquility, prejudicial to maintenance of harmony among a certain section of people,” Dey had written in the police complaint.
On 20 April, Mevani was picked up from the Circuit House in Gujarat’s Palanpur and brought to Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
The FIR was filed under various sections of the Indian Penal code related to criminal conspiracy, outraging the religious feelings of any class, and public provocation, and sections of the Information Technology Act.
He was remanded to police custody for three days and then sent to judicial custody for a day. Finally, he was granted bail by the local court in Kokrajhar Monday.
(edited by Monami Gogoi)