After Mumbai bandh, Jignesh Mevani breaks silence on Bhima-Koregaon violence, says his Pune speech was not inflammatory

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New Delhi | Published: January 5, 2018 2:43:23 PM

Newly elected MLA from Gujarat and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has lashed out on ruling BJP at the Centre over the allegations of inciting caste violence in Maharashtra.

jignesh mevani speech, jignesh mevani, bhima koregaon violence, bhima koregaon news, bhima koregaon mevani, jignesh mevani umar khalid, mumbai bandh, mumbai bandh 2018Newly elected MLA from Gujarat and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has lashed out on ruling BJP at the Centre over the allegations of inciting caste violence in Maharashtra.

Newly elected MLA from Gujarat and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has lashed out on ruling BJP at the Centre over the allegations of inciting caste violence in Maharashtra. Speaking at a press conference, Mevani said his speech was not at all provocative. “Not even a single word of my speech was inflammatory, I am just being targeted. No part of my speech was provocative or inflammatory,” said Jignesh Mewani. He defended himself saying that his speech is publicly available and doesn’t have anything objectionable.

Mevani slammed the BJP for tarnishing his image ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “Members of Sangh Parivar and BJP made a childish attempt to tarnish my image and target me, it is an after effect of the Gujarat results and it is also because they have a sense of fear about 2019,” added Mevani. He also rapped PM Narendra Modi over Pune violence. “The PM must clarify his position on the Bhima-Koregaon agitation,” said Mevani. “If an elected representative in this country is not allowed to carry out the rally, then it will speak volumes of PM Modi’s conduct,” he added.

An FIR has been registered against Jignesh Mevani and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid for their alleged “provocative” speeches during an event in Pune on December 31. Both were charged for allegedly creating a rift and spreading disharmony between the Maratha and Dalit communities.

Mevani, the newly elected MLA in Gujarat, and Khalid had attended the “Elgar Parishad”, an event organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon, at Shaniwar Wada in the city on December 31. According to a complaint filed by city resident Akshay Bikkad, Mevani and Khalid allegedly made “provocative” speeches at the event and their remarks were aimed at creating disharmony and rift between the communities, which led to the violence at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1.

Maharashtra witnessed a shut down on Tuesday and Wednesday after violent protests erupted in several parts of Mumbai and Pune.Clashes broke out between Dalit groups and Marathas. The ruckus created by the agitated protesters as there were reports of chaka jam in many places causing inconvenience to travelers. Traffic on multiple routes in major areas of Mumbai actually came to a standstill.

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