Dalit leader and independent MLA Jignesh Mevani has been sentenced six months imprisonment by a metropolitian court in Ahmedabad. Eighteen others also have been sentenced along with Mevani in a 2016 case of rioting.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate P N Goswami, who also imposed a fine on Mevani and others, suspended their sentence till October 17 to enable them to file appeals.
The case was related to a road blockade agitation staged by Jignesh Mevani and his associates. The case was registered against Jignesh Mevani and 19 others at the Gujarat University police station here in 2016 for staging a road blockade near Vijay Char Rasta in Navrangpura area of Ahmedabad to press their demand that an under-construction building of the law department of Gujarat University is named after Dr B R Ambedkar. Jignesh and 18 others were charged for rioting. The First Information Report was registered under Indian Penal Code sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 147 (rioting) as well as sections of the Gujarat Police Act. The court gave its verdict in all three cases that were registered separately for the same event. Since the case dates back to 2016, one of the accused has died . In case number one, the Court sentenced Jignesh and 18 others to six months imprisonment. In the second and the third case, he and the group have been fined Rs 500 and Rs 100 respectively.
According to Subodh Parmar, one of the accused in the case, the University decided to name it after Syama Prasad Mookerjee. “We were demanding that the building be named Babasaheb Ambedkar Bhavan. We had organised a small group and were raising our demand when we were wrongly charged for rioting”. Subodh, a lawyer, said we respect the judiciary and its verdict. He said it was however unfortunate that in Gujarat, rapists are released under special remission schemes and innocent people who try to raise a small demand in a democratic manner are charged with serious offences like rioting and sent to jail.
Jignesh Mevani, Subodh and others had to furnish a bond of Rs 5000 each today to be released on bail so that they can file their appeals till October 17.
The names of the accused in the case are JIgnesh Mevani, Rakesh Maheriya, Fenil Mewada, Amit Hiralal Chavda, Viral Mevani, Bhupat Solanki, Jay Parmar, Subodh Parmar.,Naresh Parmar, Chandresh Vaniya, Shantilal Rathod, Bharat Parmar, Yagh Makwana, Kirit Parmar, Ranjit Vaghla, Dixit Parmar, Jagdish SOlanki, Kamlesh Slanki and Asay Rathod. One Dhiraj Priyadarshi, an accused, has died.