The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on Wednesday did not submit an application seeking OBC status for the community before the state OBC commission, and held a protest outside the panel’s office in Sector 19 here, leading to detention of its 31 members.
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As per Tuesday’s announcement, as many as 50 Samiti members — including Dinesh Bambhaniya, Atul Patel, Varun Patel, Dharmik Malaviya, Lalit Vosaya and Alpesh Katheriya — gathered outside the Gujarat State OBC Commission’s office. Rebel BJP MLA from Dhari Nalin Kotadiya was also present.
The Samiti members, however, entered an argument with police personnel deployed there over number of people to be permitted inside the panel’s office. While Samiti said seven of its members would submit the application before commission chairperson Sugnya Bhatt, police made it clear that they will allow only five Patidar activists inside.
Following this, Samiti members started raising slogans against the BJP government, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and PM Narendra Modi. As many as 31 of them were detained.
“We wanted seven of us to go and meet the OBC commission chairperson to submit the application. But, police did not allow more than five. And so, we decided to approach the Chief Minister at the CMO,” said Dharmik Malaviya.
Inspector Ashutosh Parmar said: “The commission chairperson had given us instruction to allow five of them to submit the application. However, first they (Samiti members) insisted on seven persons, but later became adamant that more of them would go inside to submit the application. When we did not allow them, they said that they will go to the CMO. Later, we detained 31 of them.”
Reacting to the development, Bhatt issued a press statement: “(Samiti)convenors wanted to submit the application in large numbers. But, as per my conversation with them yesterday on time and number of persons, I had instructed only five persons to come. But Samiti convenors were insisting on more than five and they could not decide five names.”
Bhatt, former judge of Gujarat High Court, added in the release: “I had given them an assurance of sending their application to the Chief Minister. But they had left from there (OBC Commission office) and did not give any application to me.”
In the evening, the Patidars held a protest at Yogi Chowk locality in Varachha area of Surat against the detention of their leaders and members.