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National
Hardik Patel released after brief detention; tension in Gujarat
26-08-2015

NEW DELHI: The Gujarat police on Tuesday detained Hardik Patel, who has been spearheading the Patel community’s agitation for reservations, as he launched a hunger strike after the rally at the GMDC ground without permission. Patel was however, released after brief detention.

“Vastrapur police station’s inspector MM Shaikh today went to the GMDC ground and detained Hardik Patel as he sat on dharna (and hunger strike) without taking police permission,” police station officer Pravin Solanki said.

When asked where Hardik has been taken, Solanki said, “Hardik has been taken to the city police headquarters in Shahibaugh here as police suspected that if Hardik was kept at Vastrapur police station, people will gather there to protest.”

Hardik Patel’s aide and spokesperson of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti Chirag Patel alleged that the police beat up the protesters including some children and women before taking Hardik away.

“Police first switched off all the lights at GMDC ground and then took Hardik somewhere. Before that police lathicharged and even beat up women and small children,” Patel alleged.

Earlier in the day, in a mega show of strength for their demand of inclusion in OBC category for reservation, the Patel community warned that if they are not made eligible for quota, the BJP government in Gujarat will face consequences in 2017 polls.

After the rally, Hardik Patel, who is spearheading the agitation, said he will sit on a hunger strike at the venue till the Chief Minister (Anandiben Patel) does not come to take a memorandum from them.

The numerically and economically strong Patel community of Gujarat converged here in large numbers to take part in the rally, which brought the city to a grinding halt.

The ‘Maha Kranti’ rally comes after a month-long agitation by the Patel community for their demand of reservation. “If you do not give our right (reservation), we will snatch it. Whoever will talk of the interest of Patels will rule over Patels,” Hardik told the gathering.