Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid's talk to be screened online after Mumbai Police denies duo permission to hold rally

After the Mumbai Police declined permission to a day-long student convention in which Gujarat legislator Jignesh Mevani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid were to take part, the organisers have found a work-around. NDTV reported that instead of having the talk take place in a hall as was planned earlier, Mevani and Khalid will now address the students online.

The report quoted Sachin Bansode from Chatra Bharti as saying, "They are both at a secure place in the city. We will hold the exact same programme online on 10 January, and they will address the students then."

Meanwhile, the police is still maintaining that permission was not granted for the programme and their position on that has not changed.

On Thursday, Mumbai Police swooped on Bhaidas Hall in the city's western suburb of Vile Parle, and stopped the Left-leaning Chhatra Bharati's 'All India Students Summit', which Khalid and Mevani were to address later.

Simultaneously, the Pune Police registered an FIR against the two leaders for allegedly making inflammatory speeches at a meeting in Shaniwar Wada on 31 December.

File image of Jignesh Mevani. News18

Considered the Dalit face of Gujarat politics and convenor of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, Mevani was elected to the state Assembly in December as an Independent legislator.

The police broke up the planned convention, citing prohibitory orders that were imposed in Mumbai after Wednesday's state-wide shutdown.

Opposing the police's move, Chhatra Bharati members staged noisy protests, raised anti-government slogans and attempted to squat outside the venue on Thursday. Many were seen running on to the main road outside. Defying the police, some even attempted to enter the auditorium but were evicted. Many were bundled into a police van and detained.

Chhatra Bharati vice-president Sagar Bhalerao said the day-long event was planned long ago, and Mevani, Khalid and others were all listed as speakers.

In Pune, the police booked Mevani and Khalid for "inciting passions" between communities following a complaint by a student, Akshay G Bikkad.

Bikkad said that at a meeting on 31 December, the duo allegedly made inflammatory speeches that could create a misunderstanding between communities, and included excerpts from the objectionable speeches. The complainant said that such inflammatory speeches can create a wedge and enmity between communities. Provoked by these utterances, some miscreants attacked the Victory Pillar (Vijay Stambh) in Koregaon-Bhima, resulting in riots and created arson on 1 January, he said.

The developments came in the wake of the series of disturbances in Maharashtra starting with the desecration of a monument in Vadhu Budruk on 29 December, followed by the riots in Koregaon-Bhima that left one dead on 1 January, and the Maharashtra bandh that killed one minor boy and left a trail of destruction across the state.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Jan 05, 2018 12:53:28 IST

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