Patidar quota protest: Hardik Patel, supporters detained in Ahmedabadhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/patidar-quota-protest-hardik-patel-supporters-detained-in-ahmedabad-5314539/

Patidar quota protest: Hardik Patel, supporters detained in Ahmedabad

Hardik and eight leaders of the PAAS were detained today by the city crime branch from outside his house in Sola area, said Crime Branch DCP Deepan Bhadran.

Quota protest: Hardik Patel, supporters detained in Ahmedabad
Hardik Patel. (File)

Quota protest leader Hardik Patel was detained today along with his supporters when they were trying to organise a fast in Ahmedabad’s Nikol area, the police said. Today’s protest was planned by the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) at a parking plot in the locality. Hardik and eight leaders of the PAAS were detained today by the city crime branch from outside his house in Sola area, said Crime Branch DCP Deepan Bhadran.

The symbolic fast was aimed at seeking allocation of a ground for a gathering planned by Hardik on August 25 for the demand of quota for Patidar youths in jobs and education. Hardik had announced to sit on an indefinite fast for the quota demand from August 25.

“Hardik and eight others were detained from outside Hardik’s house for unlawful assembly and other charges,” Bhadran said. The Crime Branch has registered an FIR against Hardik and others under sections 143 (Unlawful assembly) and 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the IPC.

Meanwhile, police have detained at least 30 leaders and supporters of the PAAS from Nikol and Ramol areas of the city, said DCP (Zone V) Himkar Singh. “They were detained when they were on their way to attend the protest gathering for which they had no police permission,” he said.

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A large cache of police personnel was posted in Nikol area where the fast was supposed be held.

Following Hardik’s detention, several PAAS members gathered outside the crime branch office demanding the release of the quota leader and others. Hardik’s aide Nikhil Savani, who was leading the protest outside the office, accused the BJP government of “repression.”

He said there is heavy police deployment in Nikol to prevent protesters from assembling. Hardik had last Friday announced that he and 500 of his supporters would observe a fast on August 19 by sitting on their cars at a parking plot in Nikol area.

He had said the Nikol protest was planned to make the state government allocate a ground for the August 25 event. Hardik had yesterday written to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani seeking his intervention for granting permission for holding the indefinite fast.

The PAAS has been demanding reservation in government jobs and education for members of the Patidar community. Largescale protests were held across Gujarat in 2015 for this demand. The protests were marred by violence in many parts of the state.

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