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Days before polls in Unjha, case against Patidar strongman

Hundreds of his supporters gathered at Unjha police station protesting the filing of FIR on Wednesday night after which State Reserve Police (SRP) troops were called in by the Mehsana police to bring the situation under control.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
February 26, 2021 3:41:36 am
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Ahead of elections to Unjha Municipality in Mehsana district on February 28, police have filed a case of fraud against Dharmendra alias Dhamo Milan Patel, a Patidar leader who has fielded 30 independent candidates in his panel against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Hundreds of his supporters gathered at Unjha police station protesting the filing of FIR on Wednesday night after which State Reserve Police (SRP) troops were called in by the Mehsana police to bring the situation under control.

According to police, an FIR has been filed against four persons — Dharmendra alias Dhamo Milan Patel, Sanjay Patel, former director of Mehsana Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), Sanjaybhai Prahlad and Paras Patel — on Wednesday night under Indian Penal Code sections 406 for criminal breach of trust, 420 for fraud and 120 b for criminal conspiracy for their alleged involvement in Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion of transactions worth Rs 20 crore.

According to police, Rajendra Rajput, a resident of Unjha, filed a complaing saying that Sanjay Patel approached him in early 2020 to make him join a scheme.

“I was called at the APMC office of Sanjay Patel early in 2020 where I was told to submit copies of my documents… a transport office was opened with GST number in my name in Supathya complex on Unjha highway… For four months, I was paid Rs 15,000 every month as promised, however, after lockdown, it stopped and Sanjay Patel called me to his different offices in Unjha where I met Dharmendra Patel, Sanjaybhai and Paras Patel. On December 3 last year, a GST team raided the transport office in my name and I was told there was a GST evasion fraud against transactions of Rs 20 crore,” said Rajput in his complaint.

In this case, Sanjay Patel and Sanjaybhai are already under judicial custody as per the police.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dharmendra Patel said, “Police have filed an FIR against me without any evidence. When I asked them to show evidence for my culpability, they told me that they have received orders from above. Just because we are winning the Unjha municipality polls, the BJP is unhappy with us and wants me in jail… Moreover police have no locus standi in the case as its a case pertaining to GST department.”

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