Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani detained ahead of Modi's visit to Gujarat

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Ahmedabad, Sept 17: Gujarat Dalit rights leader Jignesh Mevani was "picked up" by Gujarat police from Ahmedabad airport on Friday evening, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed for a two-day state visit as part of his birthday celebrations.

Mevani has been kept at the crime branch office and has been released now.

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani

Officials said his detention was to prevent any disruption in the Prime Minister's events. Some patidar leaders have also been detained to prevent repeating the chaos during Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah's meet in Surat recently.

Mevani's brother Viral Mevani confirmed on social media that "some 15 to 20 policemen just whisked him away". "Jignesh arrived from Delhi by an Indigo flight. We also waved at each other as he was walking down to the exit," he said.

When Jignesh was closing in he suddenly he was picked up, Viral said."It is illegal to round up someone like this," Viral said.

Jignesh Mevani returned from Delhi after attending the Dalit Swabhiman Sangharsh rally, which was addressed by Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of BR Ambedkar, and several Left leaders, including CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

At the rally, Mevani gave a call to Dalits to organize rail roko and mass chain pulling programme across the country, starting from the former constituency of Modi as Gujarat chief minister, Maninagar in Ahmedabad. The programme has been proposed for October 1, a day before the Gandhi Jayanti day.

Meanwhile, Mevani has declared, there would be a series of other mass meetings across Gujarat ahead of the "big" rail roko plan, including mass meetings and mohalla sabhas.

IANS

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