Popular Dalit rights activist and an independent MLA in Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, has said that the state chief minister must explain at whose behest his police was trying to kill him. His reactions came hours after two senior most cops of Gujarat Police in Ahmedabad were caught issuing encounter threats for Mevani in a WhatsApp group.
Speaking exclusively to Janta Ka Reporter, Mevani asked, “It’s good that police officers have been exposed in the WhatsApp group, whose members also included journalists. It’s not a big deal just because I am an MLA. If a DySP ranked officer talks about carrying out an encounter of an ordinary citizen in a WhatsApp group, whose members also include journalists, this shows how fearless has Gujarat Police become in carrying out the encounters of innocent people in the state.
“The question is; what motive do they have to carry out my encounter? And whose instructions is this happening? (Gujarat Chief Minister) Vijay Rupani must answer this.”
Mevani also said that the state government ought to have taken cognisance of the encounter threats by the two senior police officers and immediately suspend them.
He said, “Even if I don’t file a complaint, the Director General of Police, the Gujarat home secretary, home minister and the chief minister must take cognisance of this matter and immediately suspend the two officers in question.”
The WhatsApp conversations by two senior police officers had gone viral on social media platforms. In the WhatsApp group ‘ADR Police & Media,’ a DySP level officer of Ahmedabad had posted a message, which was viewed as chilling threats to Mevani in response to his recent comments for Gujarat Police. The DySP’s threats had received a ‘thumbs up’ by his superior in the same group.
Two videos were reportedly posted in the WhatsApp group in question. In one video, a man appeared to be a politician was seen being thrashed by policemen, while the other video was of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was seen defending his stand on police encounters in the state.
This prompted the DSP of Ahmedabad (rural), RB Devdha, to post a message, which read, “Those who want to be the baap of police and call the police as ‘lakhota’ and those, who take videos of police should remember that the police will be like this with people like you. We will settle scores. ‘Gujarat Police.”
Devdha’s boss and the SP of Ahmedabad (rural) had replied to the message with a ‘thumbs up’ emoticon.
Meanwhile, several Damil and Muslim groups including Rahstriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (founded by Mevani himself), Meri Awaaz and Gujarat Dalit Muslim Ekta Manch reportedly met the state Director General of Police to present a memorandum on the matter. Mevani himself is scheduled to address a media conference in Delhi on Saturday.
On 18 February, Mevani had alleged that he was pulled out of his car in ‘ a very uncivilised manner’ by the state police, who later took him under their custody. In the video going viral, Mevani is seen engaged in a heated conversation with police personnel in plain clothes, who are seen trying to stop his car from moving ahead. An agitated Mevani is seen shouting at his driver to keep driving while also admonishing the policemen to remember that he was an elected representative. He was also heard asking the plain clothed policemen if it was their father’s property while also addressing the cops as lakhota (marbles) as they attempted to detain him.