A day after 136 Patidar youths, detained for disrupting a Surat function where BJP leaders, including party president Amit Shah and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani were being felicitated, were released, a case of rioting was registered against the ‘mob’ on Saturday. On Friday, BJP’s state president Jitu Vaghani had issued a statement, ‘welcoming’ the release of the Patidar youths. An FIR for “rioting and obstructing police to do their duties” was lodged by police inspector H S Purani at Amroli police station on Saturday.
On Friday, the police had released all the detained Patidars without booking them in a single offence after businessman Mahesh Sawani appealed to CM Rupani and got his assurance to free Patidar youths. Soon after they were released, Vaghani issued a statement, stating that the release of the Patidar youths was a display of Rupani’s “generosity”. He also praised the police for “extreme tolerance” in spite of the fact that “some elements tried to cause a stampede” at the felicitation.
Sawani, who headed the Patidar Abhivadan Samiti (PAS), had organised the felicitation of Patidars and other BJP leaders at the school run by him at Abrahma village on Thursday evening. The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), founded by Hardik Patel, and Sardar Patel Group (SPG), led by Lalji Patel, had opposed the move.
As the event started, a large number of people gathered on Abrahma main road and pelted stones on an empty school bus, chanting slogans against the organisers and the BJP. When the police reached the spot, the mob began to throw stones. Seeing the situation going out of control, the policemen lobbed four tear gas shells and lathicharged to clear the road.
Talking to The Sunday Express, Amroli police inspector H S Purani said, “We have registered the complaint against unidentified person. To identify them, we have collected CCTV footage from the nearby residential societies and even police mobile patrolling vans with CCTV cameras. We have got the faces of the youths who had pelted stones on police and we will arrest them after identification. Till now, we have not arrested anyone.”