The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on Wednesday moved a petition in the Gujarat High Court, alleging that the police were creating hurdles for Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel’s indefinite fast by restricting his supporters to meet him.
The petition, filed by PAAS convener Dilip P Vadodariya, also stated that police were also not allowing supplies of water, milk and other essential commodities to the residential area — Greenwood Society — in Ahmedabad where Hardik is on a fast.
The petitioner has sought that “the police officers are required to be directed that no person shall be restrained from paying courtesy visits to the fasting of leader of Patidar community – Hardik Patel.” It says that Hardik is not observing fast at a public place but on his own residential premise.
There are allegations in the petition that says that police officers have been “threatening” the supplier of water and “creating obstacle” in supply of essentials “in nature of food, water, vegetables, groceries and raising of temporary structures and others.”
Vadodariya, a resident of Rajkot, filed the petition through advocate B M Mangukia. He said that the petition is likely to be taken up on Thursday as he has sought an urgent hearing.
PTI quoted that the petition likened the police to “Gestapo” (the secret police in Nazi Germany), and challenged the legality of the action of Joint Commissioner of Police Vishwakarma and other officers in not allowing people to meet Patel. Police have no right to restrain anyone from entering Hardik’s own residence, it said.
Meanwhile, the Congress sought the state government’s intervention to end Hardik’s fast, which entered the fifth day on Wednesday, by accepting one of his demands of farm loan waiver.
Apart from quota for Patidars in government jobs and education, Hardik, who heads the PAAS, has been demanding a loan waiver for farmers in the state.
State Congress kisan cell president Harshad Ribadiya on Wednesday wrote a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and urged him to accept Hardik’s demand of loan waiver for farmers.
In the letter, the Congress MLA also warned the government that if no action is taken within 24 hours, farmers across the state would hit the streets. “If Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra can waive farm loans then why not Gujarat? By not accepting Hardik’s demand, this government is projecting itself as anti-farmer. I urge you to accept Hardik’s demand, which is totally valid,” the Congress leader said in the letter.
Meanwhile, former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt met Hardik at his residence, the venue of his indefinite fast. “The motive behind deploying huge police force outside Hardik’s residence is to prevent people from meeting Hardik,” said Bhatt.
In a statement, Hardik urged people to fight against the “dictatorship” of the BJP. “It seems that the Constitution has been amended to give BJP and police powers to decide who can come to your house. Of the around 60,000 people, who came to meet me during the last five days, only 1,124 people were allowed inside,” Hardik said.
(With inputs from PTI)