Ahmedabad/Nagpur: Gujarat burnt within 15 minutes of the police arresting Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel at around 7.45 pm from GMDC ground, the venue for the massive rally held on Tuesday. Cops resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the supporters. Nine companies of BSF and CRPF have been deployed even as no deaths were reported.
Patel’s supporters took to the streets, damaging public property and even attacking the police. Violence was reported in 26 areas in cluding Ghatlodia, Chandlodiya, Ranip, Sola and Nikol, where Patels are in sizeable num bers. Even police chowkies at Sola and Am raiwadi were targeted. Violence also spread across north Gujarat towns, including Kadi and Mehsana, where curfew was clamped. Police commissioner Shivanand Jha set off from his office with senior colleagues to the violence-hit areas. Various units of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed at the GMDC ground so that the agitators did not return to the venue. As the violence spread, chief minister Anandiben Patel ordered an inquiry into the lathicharge that took place at the GMDC ground.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Patidars thronged the police headquarters where Hardik was kept under detention.The sudden violence forced the police to release Hardik at 9.30 pm.
As soon as he was released, Hardik told newspersons, “Police have badly beaten people. Police targeted them after inquiring about their caste. We will take action because the government itself does not want peace.”
The agitators complained of indiscriminate lathicharge at the venue of fasting and blamed three police officers, including the Vastrapur police inspector. An hour after the release Hardik circulated a video on social media appealing to his supporters to remain calm and maintain law and order He also requested Patidars to remain home and not take any action. He said that any further course of action will be decided and informed to everybody through social media.