Twenty-three Patidar youths were produced before a magisterial court in Surat on Saturday. They complained to the magistrate of police torture and also shown the injury marks to the court. The magistrate ordered the police to give medical treatment to them and be brought back to the court at 3 pm. They were sent to judicial remand till Monday. All of them had been arrested from Sarthana area on Friday for rioting that ensued after the brief detention of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Incidentally, the police in their defence said that while picking them up from their residences, the alleged accused had attacked the police. This had resulted in the police using force to arrest them which resulted in injuries.
Of the 23 Patidar youths, two — Vipul Vaghasia (22) and Keyur Vadi (26) — were admitted in New Civil hospital while the rest were sent to Surat district Central Jail at Lajpore.
In the afternoon, an army of 10 lawyers appeared for the accused when the court began the hearing. The jailor of Surat district Central Jail reported that they could not produce the accused before the court as they had not got security from Surat city police. The court rescheduled the hearing for Monday.
Large number of policemen have been deployed for Rakshabandhan security. Hence, they could not send adequate police to jail in help bringing the accused for production before the court, a police official said on the condition of anonymity.
One of the defence lawyers Y B Wala said, “The police had brutally beaten up all the Patidars in the lock-up. They had intentionally imposed some non-bailable sections. The jail officials and police are hand in glove with each other. The jail officials had intentionally not produced the arrested ones before the court as the injury marks on their body will be healed in two days. This is nothing but contempt of court. We will raise this issue in the open court on Monday.”
Those arrested by Sarthana police have been identified as: Sagar Kansangra (20) and his father Mohan Kansangra (56), Jagdish Karshan Dhanani (32), Ghanshyam Chauhan (26), Jagdish Doga (30), Kiran Kapopara (23), Vandan Patel (23), Dharmesh Radadia (22), Uttam Kotadia (22), Keyur Wadi (26), Jugal Bogra (19), Ravibhai Dudhatra (21), Bhavesh Vaghasia, Jaydeep Bhalara (23), Ashok Limbani ()37), Vishal Jesarya (22), Vipul Vaghasia (22), Chetan Akbari (27), Arvind Mangrolia (26), Ghanshyam Gajera (29), Nikunj Mangrolia (23), Bharat Vaghasia (20), Ankit Vaghasia (21).
In retaliation of the brief detention of Hardik Patel and lathicharge on rallyists on August 25, the angry Patidars allegedly went on rampage in Surat. They set fire to the buses, Surat Municipal Corporation offices, ATM centres and damaged the BRTS bus stops. When the police tried to drive away the rioters, they resorted to stone-pelting on police. To bring the situation under control, Surat Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthaana imposed curfew the following day in Surat. Surat police had lodged complaints against mob with different police stations like Varachha, Kapodara, Sarthana, Punagam, Pandesara, Amroli, Chowk Bazaar and Katargam, on August 27. They were charged under Sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 332, 337, 436, 452 of the IPC, and Act Nos 3, 4 of the Damage to the Public Property Act.
Police had arrested 23 Patidar youths from Sarthana area on Friday.