The Surat Police filed a chargesheet against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel in a Surat local court in the sedition case on Friday.
The 370-page chargesheet will be given to Hardik on Monday, the court said, rejecting his lawyer’s application seeking a copy. Hardik is lodged at Surat Central Jail. Surat police had also recovered mobile phones of Hardik and other Patidar leaders, which were sent to Gandhinagar FSL to retrieve data that was deleted.
Acting on the direction of the apex court, the Surat crime branch officials reached the court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) and submitted the chargesheet copy and the transcripts of telephone conversations between Hardik and others, WhatsApp messages, CDs of Call Data Reports and other documentary evidence. The chargesheet copy lists the testimonies of 148 witnesses.
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Meanwhile, Surat Crime Branch sleuths arrested two Patidar youths — Chirag Desai and Vipul Desai —under sedition charges in the same case lodged against Hardik. Both were sent to 14-day judicial custody at Surat Central Jail.
Chirag Desai (33), a businessman, and Vipul Desai (28), a businessman and an RTI activist — both residents of Krishna township at Mota Varachha in Surat — were arrested in the complaint lodged by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 3) Markand Chauhan at Amroli police station on October 19. They were arrested under charges of creating disaffection, abetment and destruction of evidence under Sections 124(A), 115 and 201 of the IPC, respectively.
The two were Friday produced before the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class J B Rathod, who sent them to judicial custody as no remand was demanded by police.
On September 28, Vipul Desai had handed an application to Varachha police station, threatening to commit suicide to protest the “police atrocity” against Patidars. On October 3, Hardik went to see him. He reportedly advised Vipul that Patidars were not born to die and instead they should “kill 2-5 policemen”.
During the probe, police added the names of Vipul, Chirag and Alpesh Katheriya, Surat PAAS co-convenor, as co accused.
Surat Detection of Crime Branch police inspector J H Dahiya said, “Apart from Hardik, we have arrested two more accused, Chirag and Vipul,while Alpesh is yet to be arrested. Chirag and Vipul were present on the spot when Hardik made the statement while Alpesh’s role was to destroy evidence and tell Vipul to change his statements.”