Gujarat’s poster boy Patel detained

 20 Sep 2015 - 10:08

Gujarat’s poster boy Patel detained

 

 

Members of the Patel community run as they are dispersed by Indian police during a protest rally in Ahmedabad

 

Surat: Apprehending a potential law and order situation, Surat Police detained Patidars leader Hardik Patel and at least 50 of his supporters when they attempted to launch an ‘Ekta Rally’ here yesterday morning, officials said.
The rally, which the police claimed as ‘unauthorised’, was to press for the caste-based reservations for the Patel community spearheaded by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
PAAS convenor Hardik Patel, 22, and at least 50 others were detained at Mangad Chowk and whisked off in waiting police vans to the police headquarters.
Undeterred by the detentions, the Patels defied the police and took out another rally from Hirabagh locality from where PAAS co-convenor Nikhil Patel was also detained.
Shortly after the detention, Hardik Patel said police were harassing them as they wanted to take out a peaceful rally, and accused the Gujarat government of “harassing everybody”.
“The Gujarat government is provoking violence though ours is a peaceful agitation. We request the people of the state for support. We are not against any community, but just fighting to get reservations for our community,” Patel said.
PAAS termed the detentions as “illegal and bulldozing of democracy by the Gujarat government” which was acting at the centre’s behest.
Yesterday ‘Ekta Rally’ was thrown a challenge by the opposing OBC Ekta Manch, which threatened to take out a ‘Pratikar Rally’ protesting against the reservations sought by the Patidars.
However, the city administration declined permission to OBC Ekta Manch to hold its rally.
Gujarat went into a state of high alert following the PAAS officials’ detentions.  
Meanwhile, hours after Patidar community leader Hardik Patel was detained in Gujarat yesterday, his Patel Nav Nirman Sena demanded his release by the evening or warned of a nationwide “jail bharo” agitation.
“If Hardik Patel is not released by government (Gujarat) then we will start massive jail bharo andolan across the country. Narendra Modi government and the state government will be responsible for it,” Patel Nav Nirman Sena’s national secretary Akhilesh Katiyar said here.
He requested Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel to “release Hardik Patel immediately and give us permission for the peaceful march and accept our reservation demand.”IANS