No Permission Yet But Jignesh Mevani May Go Ahead With Delhi Rally Today

Several student leaders from Jawaharlal Nehru University, including Kanhaiya Kumar, are expected to attend Jignesh Mevani's rally.

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Jignesh Mevani is likely to hold the 'Yuva Hunkaar rally" even without permission from the police.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Organisers urged participants to assemble at Parliament Street at noon
  2. Delhi police said no permission yet following green court orders
  3. Jignesh Mevani recently won Gujarat state elections with Congress support
Newly-elected Gujarat legislator and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani's request to hold a youth rally in Delhi today is yet to be accepted by the police which cited the orders of the green court to stop rallies at the heart of the national capital. The 37-year-old lawyer-activist - accused of inciting the recent caste clashes at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune that spread across Maharashtra - had announced his intention last week to visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Office during the rally.

The 'Yuva Hunkaar rally" may go ahead without permission. In a statement on Monday, the organisers urged prospective participants to "assemble on the Parliament Street at 12 pm tomorrow". The police are getting ready with water cannons and tear gas to control the crowds, say sources.

On Monday evening, a tweet from Delhi Police read, "No permission granted so far by Delhi Police to hold proposed protest at Parliament Street in view of NGT orders. Organisers have been constantly advised to go to alternate site which they are reluctant to accept". Critics pointed out that the Green Tribunal's orders applied only to Jantar Mantar and not Parliament Street, where the rally was scheduled to be held.

Mr Mevani is expected to address protesters along with Akhil Gogoi, a farmer leader from Assam. Several student leaders from Delhi's prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, including Kanhaiya Kumar, are expected to attend the rally, meant to seek the release of Chandrashekhar Azad, the founder of Dalit group Bhim Army. Mr Azad - the main accused in the Thakur-Dalit clash in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district - was arrested last June.

Speaking at a press conference in Delhi on Friday, Mr Mevani had said that he intended to knock at the PM's door with two books, the Manusmriti and the Constitution, "and ask him what he chooses".

Mr Mevani, who won the recent assembly elections in Gujarat from Vadgam with support from the Congress, has had a case filed against him in Pune, which accused him of spreading enmity among castes. Denying the charges, he hinted that the arrest was a retaliatory move by the BJP, which was feeling "threatened" by his "growing popularity".

After his release, he sharpened his attacks on PM Modi, saying the Prime Minister, as a self-proclaimed follower of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, must answer why Dalits were not secure in India. We want to know if he has any commitment to the annihilation of caste...which was Dr Ambedkar's ultimate goal," he had said.

"If Dalits continue to be targeted and my reputation is continued to be tarnished, Mr PM we will teach you a lesson in 2019," he had added.


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