Holding the entire Patidar reservation movement illegal, the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) on Monday filed the chargesheet against Hardik Patel and five of his key associates in the second case of sedition. The summary of the chargesheet claims that despite knowing well that community can not be listed under OBC category legally and socially, the accused persons created the movement “to dislodge the democratically elected government” through violence by hatching a criminal conspiracy which amounts to sedition.
The chargesheet, having political undertones, claims that accused wanted to “dislodge a democratically elected government,” by waging a war against the state in order to force it to take an “unlawful decision” on reservation for the community. Citing the census of 1931, the chargesheet states “Patel community had a different identity known as kanbhi which was not included in Other Backward Caste (OBC) category.” The chargesheet notes that OBC commission had not recommended the inclusion of Patidar under OBC.
The chargesheet says, “…yet the committee conspired to put the government under pressure and through violence it tried to pressurize the government officials and Gujarat government to take an illegal decision and thus spreading disaffection for the government and with a clear intention of disrespecting the government it shattered the peace of the state and disrupted law and order on the pretext of getting reservation for the Patidar community.”
The chargesheet, running into 2,700 pages, was filed against Hardik and his key associates-Ketan Patel, Dinesh Bhambhaniya, Chirag Patel, Amrish Patel and Alpesh Kathiriya. The last two accused have not been arrested as yet. They have been chargesheeted under IPC section 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy). The DCB has placed 503 witnesses, majority of them are police officers. Moments after the chargesheet was filed Hardik’s lawyer withdrew his bail petition from the Gujarat High Court. It is learnt that a fresh petition will be filed before a sessions court.
The DCB has said that the accused created a committee, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which was not registered anywhere. By declaring himself as convenor of the committee Hardik and other accused in a pre-planned manner hatched a conspiracy and started holding public gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, meetings, beating plates with wooden sticks, among others. The movement saw 1251 such programmes since June 2015 till December 2015.
The chargesheet states that to keep a check on PAAS movements after initial inputs the phone numbers of accused people were kept in surveillance. The 42 mobile phones interception records have shown that Hardik and other accused provoked protesters to attack “elected government, police, administration to wage war against government. Like this an appeal was made to topple the democratically elected government.”
The DCB has mentioned Hardik’s speech on August 25 at GMDC ground in great details and stated that the accused in a “pre-planned conspiracy have spread false information and rumours among people from across Gujarat against the state government and state administration which resulted into violence targeting elected representatives of state government, government servants, police stations, police chowkies, police vehicles, railways, state transport, BRTS, fire brigade vehicles among others.”
The chargesheet explains the violence which started on August 25 night following Hardik’s detention for a brief moment in Ahmedabad. There were widespread stone pelting, arson among other violent protest which resulted into death of a constable in Surat. Curfews were imposed in Ahmedabad and Surat among other places. The chargesheet also notes that mega rally of PAAS in Ahmedabad that day had official permission.
Hardik’s abduction false
The chargesheet mentions the incident in Tenpur village in Aravalli district from where Hardik Patel was reported to have been kidnapped by the plainclothes policemen. Although the chargesheet is silent on the habeau corpus petition filed in the high court past midnight on September 22. It mentions that four of the accused who were present in the village have spread rumours of Hardik’s abduction by police despite knowing it was false. “The protesters and other people from Patidar community, with a motive to create hatred among the people against police and government machinery spread the rumour of detention because of which in separate incidents police and government machinery were attacked.”
Total 44 crore worth properties destroyed
The chargesheet says that between July 23 and December 3 a total of 457 offences were registered. Out of which 53 were lodged in Ahmedabad. There were ten cases in which properties of political leaders were destroyed. The chargesheet has summed up that properties worth Rs44 crore were damaged which included Rs.34 crore to state transport alone.