About Seven policemen, including a police inspector, and former driver of Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani, were booked on Monday for allegedly attacking four men, including the son of a local Congress corporator, for shouting slogans in support of the ongoing Patidar quota stir, at a public felicitation of Vaghani in Bhavnagar on Sunday where Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was also present.
Hundreds of BJP workers and party supporters had gathered near Law College in Sardarnagar area of Bhavnagar on Sunday evening to be part of a programme to felicitate Vaghani on his 47th birthday and for becoming the Gujarat BJP chief. The CM was presiding over the function. But as Rupani rose to address the gathering, a few men, including Ankit Bhisra and his friend Keyur Moradiya, started raising slogans of “Jai Patidar, Jai Sardar”. The duo were allegedly first attacked by Vaghani’s former driver, Raysinh Chavda, and a few policemen present there.
In his complaint filed with Ghogha Road police station on Monday, Bhisra said that Chavda hit him and kicked Moradiya in the groin, dragged them out of the venue of the meeting and handed them over to police. Two other Patidar men were also allegedly beaten up. There, Umrala police inspector V M Tank pulled his hair and injured him, Bhisra stated in his complaint. The complainant, who is associated with diamond polishing industry, also alleged that Vartej police sub-inspector H C Gohil, constables Bhairavdan Gadhvi, Aravind and Kirit Pandya, and two-three unidentified policemen also caused him injuries.
Hundreds of Patidars had assembled at Ghogha Road police station after 19 Patidars were detained. After the violence, Moradiya, son of Congress corporator Kailash Moradiya in Bhavanagar Municipal Corporation, was rushed to Sir T General Hospital in Bhavnagar city. However, he was discharged on Monday. Babu Mangukia, a relative of Moradiya and a Patidar leader, alleged that even though he had contracted infection in his scrotum, doctors discharged him. Bhisra sustained injuries on his face and eye and was given primary treatment.
Based on Bhisra’s complaint, Ghogha Road police have booked Chavda, the police inspector and other policemen for voluntarily causing hurt and robbery as the victim said that the accused also snatched away his ring. “Moradiya had undergone a surgery sometime ago and was still on medication. Chavda hit him in the groin which aggravated his pain. He received injuries on his head and face after he was beaten up by the police. We are investigating the case further,” Ghogha Road police inspector Ambalal Vasava said.
Bhavnagar SP Dipankar Trivedi said they were analysing the CCTV footage of the incident. “Only 19 persons were detained from Bhavnagar on Sunday and they were taken into preventive custody. Since it was a preventive measure, there is no question of beating up anybody. But yes, there was a clash between two groups and police had to intervene. But we have registered a complaint in which policemen have been named as accused and the investigation is on,” Trivedi told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, Chavda also filed a cross complaint, stating that Bhisra and Moradiya, both residents of Nari on the outskirts of Bhavnagar city, attacked him at the same event.
Bhavnagar unit of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) submitted a memorandum to district collector and demanded the arrest and suspension of all policemen responsible for the injuries. Diamond markets in Bhavnagar and Botad observed bandh. But the SP said that no untoward incident was reported.