Cop lock on Mevani event

BJP RSS making childish attempts to tarnish my image says Dalit activist Jignesh Mewani

Mumbai police on Thursday cancelled a students programme in Vile Parle which was to be attended by Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and controversial student leader Umar Khalid.

"We had booked Bhaidas Hall for All India National Students' Summit here today, but now we are being denied entry".

They accused the police of acting at the behest of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in the state "to crush the voice of the students" who raise uncomfortable questions, but vowed they would continue their struggle. During these last three days, entire Pune police force was busy in maintaining law and order in the city.

According to the complaint, the duo made provocative statements that incited violence in Pune on Monday during the 200 th anniversary celebrations of Bhima Koregaon Battle. "Their statements caused tension and trouble between two communities and it is suspected that it led to the trouble in Koregaon Bhima", said additional commissioner of police (south region) Ravindra Sengaonkar.

Mevani was responding to an FIR registered against him for his alleged "provocative" speech during an event in Pune on December 31.

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Chatra Bharti Sangathan vice president Sagar Bhalerao told The Citizen that permission for the event was given two months ago when Mevani and Khalid were listed as speakers. Juhu police have released a search warrant against Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid. The administration has also imposed section 149 in parts of Mumbai.

Maharashtra legislator Kapil Patil said around 800 students and delegates including many girls were dumped into police vans and taken to various police stations where they were detained for several hours. "Me or my organisation has never discriminated between Dalits and non-Dalits", he said. He said that the Fadnavis government directed the police to stop the event and detain the students.

The clash broke our between villagers from Koregaon Bhima, Pabal and Shikrapur and a large group of people celebrating the January 1, 1818, victory of British troops over Peshwa Bajirao II's army in Koregaon Bhima.

Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of BR Ambedkar, called for a strike across Maharashtra on Wednesday, The Times of India reported. It is also being said that Datta Dhage was beaten up at the police station.

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