Ahmedabad | Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and three of his associates were sent to judicial custody after they refused to apply for bail following their arrest in connection with a protest, police said on Wednesday.
Mevani, who has emerged as the face of Dalit protest after the Una cow vigilante incident, and 19 others were arrested by the police for allegedly trying to block a busy road near the Gujarat University here last evening.
They were arrested under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 188 (disobeying orders of public servant), said inspector G S Bariya.
“When we produced them before the court late last night, 16 of them agreed to take bail while Mevani, Subodh Parmar, Dixit Parmar and Rakesh Maheria refused to seek bail. So as per the court’s order we sent them in judicial custody at Sabarmati Central Jail,” said inspector Bariya.
Mevani and other agitators from Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch had gathered outside the University demanding that the under-construction building of its law department be named after Dr B R Ambedkar.
“To make their demand heard, protesters sat on dharna on road after removing their shirts. When they were produced before the court, Mevani and three others refused to take bail to register their protest against Gujarat Government,” said their lawyer and a key member of city-based NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch, Shamshad Pathan.
“Earlier the government had promised to hold a meeting with Dalit leaders on various issues including the Una Dalit flogging incident. As no such meeting has taken place yet, Mevani and three others decided not to seek bail to register their protest,” added advocate Pathan.