Aides of Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel tried to create sensation “at the cost of disturbing peace and tranquility” by faking his abduction after a public meeting at Tenpur village in Sabarkantha district on September 22, the Gujarat government told the High Court on Thursday in a strongly-worded affidavit.
The government, in the affidavit filed by Sub-Inspector Yogendrasinh Rathod of Ambaliyara police station in Sabarkantha, also claimed that Hardik was in constant touch with some of his close aides till he surfaced in Surendranagar district the next day.
The affidavit was filed in connection with a habeas corpus plea moved by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti members Dinesh Bambhaniya and Ketan Patel, who had claimed that Hardik was abducted by “police like persons in plain clothes” soon after the Samiti convener attended the public meeting. The rally was organised without permission from the administration.
The judge, who heard the habeas corpus petition at 2 am on September 23 at his residence, had issued notice to police to find Hardik. The High Court had later criticised the 22-year-old Patidar quota agitation leader and his lawyer, saying that both of them “took the court for a ride” by filing a habeas corpus plea past midnight on September 22.
Bambhaniya on Monday had told the court that the petition was moved out of fear since none of them could contact Hardik on September 22. On Thursday, however, a bench of Justices M R Shah and K J Thaker said they were not satisfied with his reply and directed him to file a fresh affidavit on October 19 to substantiate the allegations levelled in the habeas corpus plea.
Sub-Inspector Rathod, filing the affidavit as rejoinder, said “…it was sheer figment of imagination on the part of the petitioners to allege that corpus — Hardik Patel — was ever abducted. He was never abducted by anybody, much less by police like persons in plain clothes.”
It also stated that “the whole make-believe story of alleged abduction of Hardik and subsequent habeas corpus petition were the deliberate and intentional acts on the part of the petitioners to create sensation at the cost of disturbing public peace”.