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Jignesh Mevani detained at Jaipur airport ahead of delivering Ambedkar speech


Yesterday politicians cutting across party lines had taken part in various rallies, prayer meetings, inaugurations and gave speeches to mark the birthday of the Father of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. Dalits from across India took part in these celebrations for the national hero who was himself a poor Dalit boy who rose from his impoverished conditions and broke all taboos to become a legal eagle and later drafted the Indian Constitution when the country got independence from 200 years of British rule.

His life is a source of inspiration for millions of Dalits in India. Today however, a young Dalit leader was stopped from giving a speech on the Indian Constitution at another such gathering near Jaipur. The young and charismatic Dalit leader from Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani is also an MLA from Vadgam (Gujarat).

Jignesh was detained at the Jaipur airport this morning just after getting out of the plane. He was on his way to Nagaur (near Jaipur) to talk about Baba Saheb Ambedkar.

It is still not clear why he was detained by the police and there has been no statement from the State government yet. Jignesh has alleged that it was an illegal detention as the police had no order to stop him.

Also Read: All you need to know about father of Indian Constitution

The authorities, however, stated that as circumstances in Nagaur city were precarious following April 2 Bharat Bandh called by various Dalit outfits. They did not want any instance of communal violence to spark off due to Mevani’s presence there.

Nagaur, is a city approximately 240 kms east of Jaipur. Mevani was supposed to deliver a speech on the Indian Constitution and Baba Saheb Ambedkar over there.

“I had to go to Nagaur to talk about Baba Saheb Ambedkar. I don’t know what made Vasundhra Raje’s (Chief Minister) government restrict me. They aren’t even letting me roam in Jaipur. Police have no order, this is illegal,” said Mevani.

Also Read: PM Modi inaugurates Ambedkar memorial

He also took to Twitter to vent out his frustration over the whole affair, saying, “For urgent attention of media: today, immediately after I landed at Jaipur airport, few cops made me sign a letter saying MlA Jignesh mevani’s entry is restricted in entire nagor district of Rajasthan. I was going there to talk about Indian constitution and Baba Saheb Ambedkar.”

Condemning the Rajasthan government’s approach, Mevani tweeted, “Now the DCP is saying u r not allowed to move around even in Jaipur and they are forcing me to fly back to Ahmedabad and also not allowing to hold even a press conference…this is shocking.”

“For the past 2 hours I am asking the on duty DCP of Jaipur whether he has any order to restrict my movement he has no answer. He saying ‘upar se bola hai’..he took away local dalit activist’s mobile also. As per law, this is a case of legally confining me, if nt kidnapping.Shame,” he wrote in another tweet.

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