The Patidars’ anger refuses to abate. Over 500 Patidars, including women, sat on a dharna outside Surat police commissioner Rakesh Asthaana’s residence at Athwalines late Wednesday night, when Amroli police station personnel went to pick up two youths from Gopinath Society for their alleged involvement in the riots.
In another part of Surat, at a garba venue in a Patidar Society in Varachha, Surat BJP MP Darshana Jardosh and BJP MLA Janak Bagdana had to leave the place when the Patidar women dancers began to clank rolling pins on steel plates on seeing them.
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On Wednesday evening, BJP MP Jardosh, MLA Bagdana and BJP Municipal corporators of Varachha — Dinesh Jodhani, Parulben Makrani and Devika Jadvani — went to watch the garba Dahya Park Society of Varachha, mainly to mingle with the public and build a rapport with them. All the BJP leaders sat near the stage and watched people playing garba.
Suddenly, Patidars took up steel plates and rolling pins and clanked them, the clanking now their signature form of protest. The leaders slowly went out of the venue, realising that the protest was against their presence. When contacted, BJP corporator Dinesh Jodhani, who is also a Patidar, said, “We went to build bridges between BJP leaders and the Patidar Patel community people. We had intimated the organiser about our visit and even told them that nothing should happen as we were doing constructive work. We were shocked to see garba dancers with steel plates and rolling pins. We quietly left the venue.”
In the Amroli case, the police went to Sai Darshan Sankul Society at Mota Varachha and to arrest the accused identified in the CCTV footage. Amroli police inspector H S Purani said, “We arrested six Patidars – identified as Janak Dosiya, Tulsi Djhola, Mohan Hirpara, Bhavesh Dhola, Babu Vaniya and Bhimji Ribadiya, on Wednesday night after identifying them on the basis of the CCTV footage.”
This was in connection with a complaint filed on August 27, when riots broke out, following the brief detention of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel from the GMDC ground in Ahmedabad on August 25.
A Koli Patel couple, Dilip Patel and his wife Geeta, residents of Mota Varachha, were passing by on their bike when a mob of around 50 waylaid them at Sai Darshan Sankul and beat up Dilip, causing severe head injuries. Geeta called up her family members and took Dilip to a private hospital and then lodged a complaint at Amroli police station against Patidars.
The news of the arrest of the Patidars spread fast after which the Patidars gathered outside Asthaana’s residence.
Deputy Commissioner of police Markand Chauhan reached the spot and tried to pacify the mob and dispersed them.
Purani said, “We have taken action as per the complaint filed by victim Dilip Patel’s wife Geeta. There was internal aggression among the Patidars after we picked up the accused. The Patidars also have grievances that no action has been taken against non-Patidars against whom the complaint had been registered.”