Surat cops oppose bail plea: ‘Looking at his past, Hardik can tamper with evidence’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/surat-cops-oppose-bail-plea-looking-at-his-past-hardik-can-tamper-with-evidencehardik-patel-patel-sedition-case-patidar-anamat-andolan-samiti-pass-hardik-patel-sedition-case/

Surat cops oppose bail plea: ‘Looking at his past, Hardik can tamper with evidence’

The affidavit filed by Inspector J H Dahiya, who is investigating the case, stated that statements of many witnesses are yet to be recorded.

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Hardik Patel

Opposing the bail application of Patidar reservation stir leader Hardik Patel, the Surat Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) Monday told a sessions court that considering his past, he can “tamper with the evidence, lure the witnesses or even threaten them.”

The DCB said in the affidavit, filed before principal sessions judge Geeta Gopi where the the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener has moved a bail application, that the accused is involved in a serious case of sedition in which there are ample evidence against him.

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The affidavit filed by Inspector J H Dahiya, who is investigating the case, stated that statements of many witnesses are yet to be recorded.

“Considering the past of the accused, there are chances that if he is granted bail he will tamper with the evidence, he may lure the witnesses or try to threaten them which may damage the case. Therefore, considering the seriousness of the offence and the role played by the accused, his bail application should not be allowed,” the affidavit states.

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The Surat police had lodged the sedition case against Hardik on October 18, claiming that he advised a Surat-based activist and supporter, Vipul Desai, a co-accused, to kill “four-five policemen” than ending his own life.

On January 8, police filed the FIR against the 22-year-old stating that as a part of pre-planned conspiracy and with an intention to create “hatred and disgust among the people against the lawfully established government” he uttered “Kill a handful of policemen, but Patel’s son would never kill himself” — at the house of his supporter, who had threatened to commit suicide. The chargesheeet claimed that this statement was aimed at spreading “disregard and disaffection against the government.”

The chargesheet claimed that co-accused Vipul Desai had written a letter to the police department on September 28, threatening to commit suicide. But following intervention by the elders of the community and police officers he had withdrawn his letter. However, according to the chargesheet, on October 3 Hardik went to Vipul’s house in a pre-planned conspiracy, by making sure that a reporter and a cameraman of a local TV channel were present at the house.