A PATIDAR YOUTH Thursday allegedly attempted suicide by consuming poison in Morbi district of Saurashtra over the release of jailed Patidar quota stir leaders. Police, however, said they were verifying the claim.
Ashish Patel (22) allegedly consumed pesticide at Bhimsar near Maliya-Halvad crossroads and later called up his friend to inform that he had attempted to end his life in protest of government not releasing Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel and others who are in jail. He was rushed to a private hospital in Morbi where his condition was reported to be stable.
“He has consumed pesticide and we are trying to confirm it. His condition is stable and we are trying to record his statement. We are also trying to confirm the claim that he attempted suicide to seek release of Hardik Patel and others. He was working with an angadia firm in Rajkot. But the courier firm had released him today. We are also probing this angle,” Morbi SP Jaipalsinh Rathod told The Indian Express. Police said Ashish was a native of Tikar village in Halvad taluka of Morbi and was working for the Rajkot courier firm. Incidentally, Tikar is also the native village of Nilesh Arvadiya, the first Patidar quota agitator to be booked for sedition for allegedly circulating “objectionable” comments against Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and BJP national president Amit Shah.
Meanwhile, arguing for his release on bail, Hardik Patel’s lawyer argued in the Gujarat High Court Thursday that the violence after the August 25 rally had happened because of the police’s use of force. Hardik is facing sedition cases in Ahmedabad and Surat for inciting violence during the agitation last year. Arguing before Justice A J Desai, his lawyer Zubin Bharda said Hardik was fighting for his community and not against the government.
During the mammoth rally of Patel community at GMDC ground here last August, Hardik had appealed for maintaining peace many times but the use of force by the police led to the violence, he said.
Earlier, courts in Surat and Ahmedabad rejected the bail pleas filed by Hardik, following which he moved the HC. He is at present lodged in Lajpore jail in Surat district. The next hearing is likely on April 13 when his lawyer would continue the arguments.