Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has asked the city police to conduct probe into the allegedly provocative speech of Patel agitation leader Hardik Patel during the 25 August ‘mega-rally’ of the community here and register a case of sedition if required.
Justice JB Pardiwala on Tuesday directed the Vastrapur police here to investigate the allegation that the 22-year-old leader made `seditious’ speech on that day.
The order came on a petition filed by Narendra Gadhvi of Gandhidham in Kutch district seeking Hardik’s prosecution for alleged sedition.
Gadhvi, who filed the plea through advocate RK Rajput, claims that the Patel leader had on August 25 appealed to the community-members to reach the national capital and bring road and rail traffic to a halt. He also provoked the Patels to take law in their hands, he alleges.
Police refused to accept his complaint so he moved the court, said Gadhvi. The HC asked the police to conduct an inquiry and disposed of the petition.
Hardik’s lawyer, Babu Mangukia, today filed a plea seeking recall of the High Court’s yesterday’s order, saying his client wasn’t heard on the issue and he hadn’t committed sedition.
This petition is likely to be heard tomorrow.
The agitation of Patel community for reservations had turned violent after the August 25 rally and claimed the life of 10 people including a police constable across Gujarat.
Large groups of Patel community youths went around various roads of the city on their two-wheelers wielding sticks to enforce the bandh.
Mass gathering of members of Patel (Patidar) community during the “Kranti rally” (revolution march) to press their demands for reservation, at GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
In a stern message to the Gujarat government, the Patel community on Tuesday held a massive rally in Ahmedabad to press for their demand for OBC status and warned that BJP will not be able to return to power in 2017 if they are not given reservation. Campaign leader Hardik Patel, in a hard-hitting speech, said if the government ignored the demand of the community, the BJP in Gujarat will face consequences in the polls and “lotus will not bloom”.Patel, who has imparted momentum and virulence to the struggle as leader of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, also threated to go on hunger strike at the venue till Chief Minister Anandiben Patel turns up and takes the memorandum from the outfit. As members of the numerically strong and economically influential community of Gujarat poured in large numbers for the “Maha Kranti” rally, the city to came to a grinding halt for hours.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If you do not give us our right (reservation), we will snatch it. Whoever will talk of interest of Patels will rule over Patels,” Hardik told the gathering.”In 1985, we had uprooted Congress from Gujarat, today there is BJP. 2017 (assembly polls) is coming… lotus will not bloom in the mud, it will never bloom. If you will talk about our interest then only we will nurture your lotus,” he said.Patels have declined to call off the agitation despite Anandiben Patel expressing her inability to accord the OBC status to the community, citing the Supreme Court guidelines and judgements on the issue.”Some parties say you do not know about Supreme Court guidelines (of 50 per cent cap on reservations), this cannot happen. If Supreme Court can open at 3.30 in the morning for a terrorist, then why not for the youth, the future of this nation?” Hardik said amid thunderous applause by the crowd.The protest, however, triggered clashes various parts of the city as police baton-charged and lobbed teargas shells to control the situation, officials said. Clashes between Patel community members and local residents were also reported from Vadaj, Vastrapur, Nikol and Paldi areas when they allegedly tried to enforce a bandh called by the agitating outfit.In Vadaj, where Patels tried to enforce a bandh, local residents belonging to Dalit community resisted the move, resulting in clashes and stone-pelting between the two communities, police said.”Police lobbed a tear-gas shell and also baton-charged crowd when two groups of Patels and Dalits clashed with each other,” city control room’s police inspector D R Dhamal said.The protesters allegedly vandalised shops and buses in the area near Vadaj Police chowk and later had a scuffle with Dalit community members, Dhamal said. Sporadic clashes were also reported in Vastrapur, Paldi and Nikol areas of the city after protesters from Patel community used force to shut down shops.Large groups of Patel community youths went around various roads of the city on their two-wheelers wielding sticks to enforce the bandh. Some people also reportedly damaged window panes of city buses at various places. Reacting to the protest’s violent turn, Hardik accused police of beating up protesters and threatened that the government would face the worst consequences due to this.”The police have done wrong by beating protesters of the Patel community in Paldi and Mansi cross road in Vastrapur,” he said.Watch: Hardik Patel addresses rally in AhmedabadEarlier, addressing the rally, 22-year-old Hardik said the agitation was apolitical, refuting the charge that it was instigated by the Congress, the Aam Admi Party and even sections in the BJP.”Some said your agitation is supported by Congress, some said your agitation is inspired by BJP, while some others said it is sponsored by Aam Aadmi Party, but we are apolitical,” he said.”We have elected representatives from Gujarat and we have sent representatives to the Centre, they are not there just to make laws or to amend the Constitution. We have sent you to serve our community… we only need our rights,” he said.”One of the friends told me you have led agitation against our people (as the Chief Minister is also Patel), I replied we have started this agitation because they are our people. They should also understand we have came out with this agitation to demand for our right,” he said.Holding that the community forms a major chunk, Hardik said, “We (Patel-farming community) are not in Gujarat only… We are 1.80 crore in Gujarat…, we also have a large presence in the country.””A person told me that you (Patels) have a political clout in Gujarat, I told him…have you just seen Gujarat don’t you see Bihar…even Nitish Kumar is ours…Don’t you see in Andhra Pradesh… Chandrababu Naidu is ours,” he said.”In Gujarat we have six MPs, while in India we have 170 MPs …Nobody is aware of that…our seal will be there on dollars,” he said.Meanwhile, rift between two major groups of the Patel community seeking reservation came in open with Sardar Patel Group (SPG), led by Lalji Patel, distancing itself from the decision of hunger strike by Hardik. He said he was prepared to hold talks with the government on the issue. SPG, the biggest Patel community social group, had earlier supported Hardik’s ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti’ for organising the mega rally.”Hardik’s decision of sitting on hunger strike until the chief minister comes and take memorandum from him is his individual decision, which is not supported by others,” Lalji Patel told reporters.
Ahmedabad: Police on Tuesday night detained Hardik Patel, who has been spearheading the Patel community’s agitation for reservations, as he launched a hunger strike after the rally at the GMDC ground without permission, officials said.
However, Patel was released by Ahmedabad police after violence over his detention spread.
“Vastrapur police station’s inspector MM Shaikh today went to the GMDC ground and detained Hardik Patel as he sat on dharna (and hunger strike) without taking police permission,” police station officer Pravin Solanki told PTI.
When asked where Hardik has been taken, Solanki said, “Hardik has been taken to the city police headquarters in Shahibaugh here as police suspected that if Hardik was kept at Vastrapur police station, people will gather there to protest.”
Hardik Patel’s aide and spokesperson of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti Chirag Patel alleged that the police beat up the protesters including some children and women before taking Hardik away.
“Police first switched off all the lights at GMDC ground and then took Hardik somewhere. Before that, police lathicharged and even beat up women and small children,” Patel alleged.
During the massive rally of Patels on Tuesday to demand reservations under OBC category, Hardik Patel made a sudden announcement that he will sit on a hunger strike, and demanded that Chief Minister Anandiben Patel should come to the venue to accept memorandum of the Samiti.
Ketan Patel, Nikhil Savani and Dhiru Mandaviya had joined Hardik Patel in the hunger strike. According to Hardik, Nikhil Savani was on indefinite hunger strike, while he and two others will be on hunger strike for 48 hours.
“We expect the CM to come here in two days. We will announce future course of action after that,” Hardik had had said earlier.
Large groups of Patel community youths went around on various roads of the city on their two-wheelers wielding sticks to enforce the bandh.
Members of the Patel (Patidar) community carry a cut-out of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during a meeting and mega rally to press for their demands of reservation, at GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
The agitation of Patel community seeking reservation under OBC quota turned violent on Tuesday with clashes being reported in various parts of the city as police resorted to baton-charging and lobbed teargas shells to control the situation, officials said. Clashes between Patel community members and local residents were reported in Vadaj, Vastrapur, Nikol and Paldi areas when they tried to enforce a bandh called by their community leader Hardik Patel after their mega rally.In Vadaj area, when groups of Patel community members on scooters and bikes tried to enforce the bandh, local residents of Dalit community resisted which resulted in clashes and stone-pelting between the two communities, police said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Police lobbed a tear-gas shell and also baton-charged crowd when two groups of Patels and Dalits clashed with each other,” city control room’s police inspector D R Dhamal said. The protesters of Patel community allegedly vandalised shops and buses in the area near Vadaj Police chowk and later had a scuffle with Dalit community members, Dhamal said.According to another police official, several clashes were reported in Vastrapur, Paldi and Nikol areas of the city after protesters from Patel community used force to shut down shops. Large groups of Patel community youths went around on various roads of the city on their two-wheelers wielding sticks to enforce the bandh. Reports have also come that some miscreants damaged window panes of city buses at various places.Reacting to the protest’s violent turn, Hardik Patel, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti who is spearheading the agitation, said the police wrongfully beat up protesters and threatened that the government would face worst result.”The police have done wrong by beating protesters of the Patel community in Paldi and Mansi cross road in Vastrapur,” he said.”They were taking out rally peacefully, when the police resorted to lathi-charge. The government should now be ready to face the worst result,” he warned.