With Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in the city, and amid ongoing talks between the state government and Gujjar leaders for quota, the Jaipur police did not seem to be leaving anything to chance, and stopped Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel from entering the city on Friday. While the police claimed they only ensured Hardik’s safety, the Patidar leader himself believed the unsolicited “protection” was politically motivated.
“We came to know that he was landing in Jaipur at 11 am. However, we were not informed by him prior to his arrival here,” said Kunwar Rashtradeep, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Jaipur East.
“There is a threat perception to his life. Hence we reached Jaipur airport and spoke to him in the VIP lounge for about 20-25 minutes. Also, there are clear instructions from Jodhpur High Court that he has to take prior approval from the court before his movements outside Udaipur. Hardik said that he has an approval from the High Court for a 15-day Haridwar visit and is now returning. But when we asked him to produce the order, to clarify if he could also move around other locations, he could not produce it,” the DCP said.
“We did not want the court order to be violated. So we asked him to follow the procedure if he plans to visit Jaipur and also inform us beforehand. Since there is also a confirmed threat to his life, we did not want him to be harmed,” he said. Patel, however, claimed that he had not violated the court order. “I have been to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and I did not face any issue anywhere,” he told The Indian Express. “It is only the BJP government which has issues. I had plans to meet several people in Jaipur, who had been waiting for me and had arrived from various places,” he said.
In a series of tweets through his verified account, Patel said that Jaipur police “arrested” him after he disembarked from the plane on orders of the Vasundhara Raje government. He said that the Deputy Commissioner of Police told him that he has “orders from higher ups” and that he has to accompany them. The DCP, however, said that “calling a conversation in the airport VIP lounge as “arrest” is immature.