Hundreds of Patidars on Monday participated in the funeral procession of 27-year-old Bhavin Khunt, who had consumed poison at his house in Punagam area of the city allegedly “out of shock” upon learning about the police action against the quota stir leaders in Mehsana.
While Patidar leaders claimed Khunt was a “martyr” to the cause of Patidar stir for quota, police maintained reason for the suicide was yet to be ascertained. Members of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) claimed Khunt, who was associated with PAAS, consumed poison after he saw visuals of injured Sardar Patel Group (SPG) convener Lalji Patel, who was leading the Jail Bharo Andolan in Mehsana.
Khunt, a resident of Samjuba Society in Punagam and used to run an embroidery business in Varachha, had consumed poison at his house at around 7.35 pm on Sunday, police said. His father Mansukh Khunt rushed him to a hospital in Varachha where he was declared dead at 12.30 am.
As soon as the news of Khunt’s death spread, several Patidar leaders rushed to his house and claimed Khunt committed suicide “out of shock” after police action on the Patidar protesters in Mehsana. Family members of the youth refused to talk to the media.
On Monday, after post mortem, the body of the youth was handed over to his family members. Later, hundreds of Patidars participated in the funeral procession of Khunt. They held banners and posters claiming that he was a martyr to their cause.
Surat PAAS leader Dharmik Malaviya said, “Khunt was an active member of PAAS and participated in all of its programmes. He got depressed after watching Patidar youths and Lalji Patel being tortured by police… This might have driven him to take such a drastic step.”
Punagam police inspector V A Patel, however, said, “The situation is critical and we have not recorded statements of his family members… We talked to some of our sources and learnt that deceased was running an embroidery business, but in the last few months he suffered losses. He also fought with his wife. He had one-and-half year old son and his wife is six months pregnant. At present, it is difficult to say anything about the reason for the suicide.”