Patidar agitation: Hardik Patel held in Surat ahead of march, protests across Gujarat

Patidar protest leader and his supporters released late evening; mobile Internet shut down in all major cities.

By: Express News Service | Surat/ahmedabad/gandhinagar | Updated: September 20, 2015 8:30 am
Patidaar Anamat Anandolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel. (Source: PTI photo) Patidaar Anamat Anandolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel. (Source: PTI photo)

A fresh wave of violent protests swept through Gujarat on Saturday as the police detained and arrested, before ultimately releasing on bail, the leader of the Patidar agitation, Hardik Patel, in Surat.

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel had an emergency meeting with her ministerial colleagues at her residence in the evening, after which instructions went out to all collectors and superintendents of police to stay put at their district headquarters on Sunday.

WATCH VIDEO: Why Are We Talking About Hardik Patel

Beginning from late afternoon, with Hardik under detention, Patidars clashed with police in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Botad and Surat. In Surat’s Varachha area, a mob set on fire a GSRTC bus that had brought in SRP battalions a few hours earlier. Police lobbed teargas shells to scatter the protesters.

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Hardik, convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), was detained in the morning after he surfaced in Surat’s Mangadh Chowk locality to begin his Ekta Yatra without police permission. Some 25 of his associates were also detained, and taken to the police headquarters.

Late in the evening, Hardik, along with 36 associates, was put under arrest, and was held at the office of the Surat Crime Branch. A little after 11 pm, however, formalities were begun for their release on bail. Hardik was expected to address reporters after his release.

Soon after detaining Hardik and his associates, the authorities shut down mobile Internet services in Surat city to prevent the spread of rumours. Authorities in all districts were subsequently instructed to take a decision on shutting down mobile Internet services depending on the situation in their areas.

“There is no blanket ban on mobile Internet in the state,” DGP P C Thakur said. All police commissioners and offices of district superintendents of police have been asked to take a decision on banning mobile Internet service depending upon the circumstances in their respective jurisdictions,” he said.

By afternoon, mobile Internet was shut down in the other three major cities of the state — Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Rajkot — as well.
In Ahmedabad, Commissioner Shivanand Jha issued a notification shutting down services until Sunday afternoon. In Rajkot, the service was suspended for a week, even though Police Commissioner Mohan Jha said the ban might be lifted early, “depending upon the situation”.

Vadodara Police Commissioner E Radhakrishna said, “The notification has been issued to ban mobile Internet and 2G and 3G services indefinitely. We will review the situation tomorrow.”

On Friday night, Hardik had visited 10-odd Ganesh pandals in Surat’s Patidar-dominated areas. He had then met PAAS members from the city, who subsequently announced they would begin the Ekta Yatra at 5.30 am from NH-8 at Kamrej. However, nobody turned up at Kamrej, where there was heavy police bandobast.

Hardik emerged from a friend’s home in the Varachha area around 9 am, and went straight to Mangadh Chowk, where he garlanded a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He then sought to begin his march, and was immediately detained along with his associates Alpesh Kathiria and Dinesh Patel.

As the atmosphere turned tense, PAAS supporters started coming out on the streets by afternoon, and attempted to force the diamond trading offices in the mini Hira Bazaar market area to shut down. Later, Patidar women started appearing on the streets in Surat, Mehsana and Ahmedabad, beating steel plates with rolling pins.

In Ahmedabad, Patidar protesters clashed with police in the Bapunagar area on NH-8, and with another community in Rabari Colony. Hundreds of men and women blocked the highway, which affected traffic at Thakkarbapanagar, Rabari Colony, Naroda and Vastral. A senior police officer said the protesters threw stones, and as the tension escalated, police resorted to a lathicharge. The situation was, however, brought under control, Joint Commissioner of Police, Sector 2, Manoj Shashidhar, said.

In Botad district, mobs damaged a state transport bus, and police carried out a lathicharge. One incident of violence was reported in Morbi, Saurashtra. Police carried out a lathicharge in Visnagar, Mehsana, which had been among the worst affected in the earlier phase of protests that began on August 25.

Police said Saturday’s protests saw more women — wielding plates, spoons and rolling pins — on the streets than in the earlier phase of the agitation. The women were seen shielding male protesters while taking on the police.

“There have been no major incidents. We have deployed 12 companies each of the BSF and RAF, besides our own forces. So far, the situation is under control,” Inspector General of Police, Law and Order, Manoj Agrawal, said.

Speaking at a public function in Surat district, the Chief Minister assured the state’s youth that no injustice would be done to them.

However, she said, the law would take its course against those who tried to disrupt the state’s journey of development.

Addressing a gathering to mark the acquisition of 900 acres of land for Sumul Dairy in Mandvi taluka of Surat district to set up a cattle-breeding centre, Anandiben said it was the collective responsibility of all citizens to ensure that the \prestige that the state had earned globally remained intact.

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  1. P
    Patel
    Sep 20, 2015 at 2:21 am
    Now that Hardik and his supporters are in Surat released on bail. They have to get back home. Since they do not have enough money to pay for travel or do not want to pay for travel and instead want to walk home: Is that illegal. And while walking home, they want to sing and chant and keep their spirits up. Is that illegal? And they ae wearing t-shirts that read "Give us Reservation": Is that violent. And an OBC leader has threatened Hardik and his supporters: Will the police provide an escort to protect them or beat them? Many questions that are questioning the very foundation of Indian democracy.
    Reply
    1. D
      Dhiraj Kumar
      Oct 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm
      Hardik Patel Mere Bade Bhai Mai Aapse Kuh Baate Bihar Patel Samaj Ke liye Karte haiiiii hamara Patel Samaj Ko Young Nettaooo Ki Jaroorat Haiii?
      Reply
      1. D
        Dipak
        Sep 20, 2015 at 6:06 am
        NALAYAK Hardik and Lalji belong to jail for life in stan.
        Reply
        1. K
          KG
          Sep 20, 2015 at 2:04 am
          all reservations must go!!!! India is the only country where child is punished becoz of the caste. Hardik is Great!!! Wish him Good Luck.
          Reply
          1. P
            PKR
            Sep 20, 2015 at 8:06 am
            One more political gambit by the congress.They have succeeded in diverting the success of Namo to disgusting issues like the Patel Reservation.The army veterans ,FTII bullies, and the Patels are distorting democracy for their own selfish motives.Congress unable to find corruption and mis governance in the govt is whipping the public resentment on such issues.They have been partly successful,and it is time the charade is exposed.
            Reply
            1. S
              Sridhara Hiriyannaiah
              Sep 20, 2015 at 6:08 am
              Such poisonous weed like Hardik should be nipped in the bud before he becomes a demon.
              Reply
              1. G
                George Cruz
                Sep 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm
                Hardik Patel is an and creation of the congress party pseudo secular members, foreign organizations with vested interests to defame Modi, destabilize India, and to bring down the por and progressive BJP government. Many people on this blog felt that Hadkik Patel would be arrested for his illegal activities and they are correct. The AAP which is also a creation of the foreign organizations with vested interests is drifting away and on its way towards waning away.
                Reply
                1. K
                  Krish
                  Sep 20, 2015 at 2:41 am
                  There is no second opinion that reservation is the bane of this country, not found anywhere else in this world and only the wily politicians are benefited whereas the deserving people get no benefit at all. But the present agitation is not on the right path in that many will agree if the agitation is for cancellation of reservation alone but Patels asking for reservation is something too much to stomach. Hope wisdom prevails upon them and understand that a few vested interests are behind the instigation for their own benefits. K
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Manu USA
                    Sep 20, 2015 at 5:45 am
                    IMo, govt should get away with reservations all together. Why we have it at all. Help the weaker sections of society with money, or no tutuion fee or something else, which does not have any impact on voting, or on the intlectual growth of India.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      San Man
                      Sep 20, 2015 at 9:05 am
                      According to me, Congress already tried to use Patels against Modi in previous Gujarat elections. Now Congress is instigating Patels again by creating a Patel version of Kejriwal to agitate against quotas. Only a fool isn't aware that quotas are a creation of the socialist Left, and not a creation of the BJP. If the weak-minded Patels are so anti-national to undermine the BJP govt thru agitations, then it means that these Hindu Jinnahs (Patels) need to be shipped to stan. Remember, the border is not far from where they live.
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        San Man
                        Sep 20, 2015 at 9:06 am
                        Congress partymen who raped your mother and led to your birth should also be scrutinized. You worthless stani.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          San Man
                          Sep 20, 2015 at 8:10 am
                          I am strongly anti-quota, and strongly anti-Left -- and I support Modi and BJP. This Hardik Patel is a crooked traitorous Jaichand who has suddenly emerged from nowhere to become a demagogue, just like an Arvind Kejriwal. To me, he looks like some kind of planted stooge or agent-provocateur. No sane person would blame the BJP for the creation of the quota raj -- this stuff was clearly created by the Left. My message to all Congis, Lefties, traitors and anti-nationals is that you cannot stop Indian nationalism with mere schemes and stunts - our victory is inevitable. If Patels want to be kicked out of India and into stan, then keep up your anti-national tricks. Because if you let down India, then no other Hindu will forgive you - no one will rescue you from the miserable fate that you will made to suffer. Plenty of Indians are suffering because of quota raj, but this flunker Hardik Patel with only 49.6% marks is braying like a donkey as if he's the only creature in the forest.
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            San Man
                            Sep 20, 2015 at 9:00 am
                            Ohhh, you Patel traitors are now claiming to be the big heroes against quota raj? You worthless crooks - BJP has been fighting quota raj long before your flunker Hardik Patel was born. From one side of his mouth, traitorous Patel is pretending not to like left-created quotas, and then from other side of his mouth traitorous Patel is spewing the same lefty accusations about "Hitler". You can't fool anyone with your doublespeak. India already has a movement against quota raj - it's called the BJP. If you want to betray India, then move to stan, you worthless Gujju Jinnah.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              San Man
                              Sep 20, 2015 at 8:45 am
                              This Patel is a traitor and a Jaichand, just like that Madwadi named Kejriwal. Their throats need to be cut and their carces shipped to their foreign paymasters, to send them a message that such tricksters will not be tolerated. There's no way that BJP favours any quota raj, but this crook Hardik Patel has only suddenly appeared in order to act like a demagogue.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                San Man
                                Sep 20, 2015 at 8:55 am
                                You selfish Patel traitor - India already has a leader trying to undo these Left-created schemes like quota raj, etc - his name is Narendra Modi. What is wrong with you people - are you trying to snatch the rug from under everyone else by putting your own impatience headstrong selfish self-importance ahead of national stability? Where were you cowards when lefty Sonia was in power? Ohhh, then we didn't see any agitations from you, but now suddenly you fools have to start acting up? If you betray India/Hindus, then the rest of us will see you shipped to stan, you traitorous Jaichands. Remember that the border isn't far from where you live. You should be ashamed to be running like dogs everytime some foreign-sponsored agitator waves some meat under your noses. Greedy opportunistic crooks.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  San Man
                                  Sep 20, 2015 at 8:41 am
                                  You sound like a naive . When Morsy was about to sweep the elections in Egypt, the Saudis quickly funded the creation of an ultra-fundamentalist afist party, in order to steal votes away from Morsy and politically weaken him. Don't be a stupid child who can't recognize the dangerous nature of the Congress Party. The Congress kleptocracy are the Indian counterpart to ISI - they are a Deep State that are willing to resort to any kind of dirty tricks to retain power over the nation. There is nothing that the Congress crooks aren't willing to stoop to, in order to preserve their power.
                                  Reply
                                  1. B
                                    BM
                                    Sep 20, 2015 at 7:06 am
                                    It is becoming very clear that some very rich political party is behind this insurgency. After failing in every trick, including stalling Parliament, Congress recruited Hardik. Indian citizens must take a very sever action against the enemies of nation. Congress made Kejriwal a hero to scuttle Hazare's anti-corruption movement, now, Congress is attacking the nation, just, to impose that village babua. If, voters will let go this insurgency, they will face a very horrendous dictatorship led by an Italian waitress. Where this defunct, who hardly ped his exam, got such huge amount of money and wants the richest and well educated Patel to reduce to "OBC" ? Ball is in hands of the voters of this country, either let Congress destroy this nation or reclaim your nation and put it on the way of growth and development.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Raju Menon
                                      Sep 20, 2015 at 3:34 am
                                      Do not argue for the sake of argument. Like your leader, you too have habit of deflecting questions. The loss of business, and property damage is burden to people. Do you understand what you are doing to the vibrant Gujarat?
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Raju Menon
                                        Sep 20, 2015 at 3:36 am
                                        are you guys paid to create disturbance in Gujarat?
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          Pinna
                                          Sep 19, 2015 at 11:17 pm
                                          As if VP Singh has not done colossal damage to the sensitive fibre of Indian society, this new guy has popped up from no where! Thinking otherwise, this guy is not wrong. Afterall, who doesn]t like freebies? Ind is the only country in the world wherein people want to be identified with down troddens and lower strata of the society because such a cl enjoy the cream without trying for it. Irrespective, they deserve it or not, they are bound to get it and the meritorous ones sulk! Instead of expanding the group, Government should resort to a long solution by giving them better education, may be free with text books, hostel facilities and turn them out to be a deserving and meritorous citizens.
                                          Reply
                                          1. N
                                            nalana
                                            Sep 20, 2015 at 7:46 am
                                            according to u anyone speaking against modi or his gujarat is paid. lol
                                            Reply
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