Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has been accorded two armed police personnel for his protection, on Sunday. However, he is not happy with police protection and said that it is just a government ploy to keep a track of his activities. However, the Gujarat police said the deployment was done considering the present political dynamics of the state and the ‘threat level’ against Mevani. “Today, I have got a commando with a machine gun, though I did not ask for it. When I asked (the policeman) if it was for surveillance, he said yes sir,” he said. Mevani added, “This speaks a lot of the current situation (in the state).” Mevani was addressing a conclave, Young Thinkers’ Meet, at the Pritamnagar Akhado in Ellisbridge area on Sunday. Mevani slammed the Vijay Rupani-led state government and claimed that he was ready to reach an “ideological comprise” to defeat the “daitya BJP (devil – BJP),” reported, Indian Express.
Mevani told reporters that he had never sought any protection and yet was provided with it, suggesting that it was done to keep a track of his movements. He said other youth leaders like Hardik Patel might also be given such protection. The Dalit leader added that he does not mind joining hands with Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel or Alpesh Thakor (the OBC leader who recently joined Congress) to defeat the BJP. The spokesperson of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) Dinesh Bambhaniya also guessed that he could soon be given police protection. He told The Indian Express, “On Saturday night, I got a call from a police official who inquired about me, Hardik and Alpesh Kathiriya (PAAS convener from Surat). The officer asked about our current residences and places where we spend majority of our time. He said it was for providing police protection.”
Clarifying on the police protection controversy, Ahmedabad police commissioner A K Singh said, “As such there are no specific (inputs), but dynamics of (current) politics may make them a subject matter of controversy and there is a possibility…. We have the responsibility to provide protection to whoever we think could become a target…. We have made the arrangements based on general possibility.”