Ahmedabad: Last week, prominent youth political leaders Alpesh Thakor (Radhanpur MLA and OBC Leader), Jignesh Mevani (Vadgam MLA and Dalit rights activist) and Hardik Patel (Patidar community leader) conducted a ‘Janata Raid’ at an alleged bootlegger’s house opposite the Gandhinagar DSP’s office at Sector 27 following a suspected case of liquor-poisoning in Sola Ahmedabad. This move didn’t go down well with the state home ministry, who ordered the Gandhinagar SP to file charges against the three. But ever wondered why did the troika select Gandhinagar for their so-called raid on liquor dens? They seized just two packets of country-made liquor from their raid, but it drew a lot of media attention to them. Had they conducted a similar exercise in Sui village of Kutch, they might not have drawn much attention, even if they had seized a huge amount of liquor. What does one need to remain active in politics? Constantly be in the media eye.

Now let’s talk about the crisis management of the home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja. Every new IPS officer who gets posted in Gujarat comes with the belief that selling liquor in the state is a big crime. They spend the initial years running around, busting brewing dens and catching bootleggers, until they realize that it is not an act of bravado in the eyes of their peers and higher-ups. In the world of crime, peddling in illicit liquor is considered as a lowly act of crime. True, raising the issue of illicit liquor sale and consumption does attract eyeballs and brings instant fame, but it doesn’t last long, whether you are a policeman or a political leader.

There’s a reason for it. A common man doesn’t have any issues with people who consume alcohol if he is not caused any problem by them. But there are non-drinkers, who might commit literally every known crime like tax evasion and fraud, but would go on to label the liquor consumer as the evil guy. The self-conducted raids were by the troika were wrong and Jadeja should have ordered the cops to act immediately. But they were charged by the cops late Friday night. The three leaders grabbed this opportunity with both hands and as a result, they were on literally every news channel the next day, giving interviews. They announced that they will be appearing before the Gandhinagar DSP’s office on Saturday and the cops rushed to form a heavy bandobast outside the office as if some Chambal Valley dacoit was coming down to surrender. The DSP, instead of making the arrest, announced that arrests will be made only after the investigations are done. So the question is, did they file the charges against the three upon orders from the Sachivalay?

Jadeja’s attempt at crisis management failed and the game has now tilted towards the troika. The three have now set their demands that the police must come public with the criminal history of the lady who has filed charges against them. Jignesh, who has been a journalist and student of law, must be surely aware that law is equal for all. Just because someone is in the business of prostitution, doesn’t mean anyone has the right to rape her. Similarly, just because Kanchanaben (the complainant) was in the past charged for selling locally brewed liquor, doesn’t them the right to plant liquor pouches in her house to prove their point.

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