Patel agitation: Hardik Patel’s detention sparks sporadic protests in Gujarat

New Delhi(PTI): Sporadic protests took places at few places in Gujarat while one state transport bus was set on fire in Morbi district following detention of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel ahead of the ODI between Indian and South Africa at Rajkot on Sunday.

Hardik Patel

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti Conveyor Hardik Patel arrested by police on his way to protest in Cricket match from Rajkot Jamnagar Highway near Rajkot on Sunday.

“Some unidentified persons set afire a stationed ST bus at Mahendranagar area on the outskirts of Morbi city,” N S Malek, Inspector of B division police station in Morbi said, adding they were trying to trace the persons who are behind the incident. The officer said nobody was injured in the incident.

Meanwhile, two incidents of protests were reported in Bardoli and Surat.

In Surat, Alpesh Kathiria, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in city and also a close associate of Hardik, held a demonstration at Kamrej area along with his supporters and tried to block National Highway no 8, following which he was detained.

“Around 17 people, including Kathiria, were detained by the police for around four hours as they tried to block NH-8 at Kamrej area,” Police Control Room officer of Surat (Rural) Sunil Sinh said.

An agitation was held for brief period in Bardoli town by some people but they soon called it off after police requested them not to resort to any kind of protest, said Bardoli town sub-inspector D R Vasava. Meanwhile, Kathiria alleged that cops treated the members of Patel community like “terrorists” and they will avenge the treatment meted out to them by the government by voting against the ruling BJP in the upcoming polls to local bodies.

“We are descendants of Sardar Patel, but now the police have treated us like terrorists. Police have conducted atrocities on us, but we will not remain silent and will take the revenge of all these acts of the police,” Kathiria told reporters.

He alleged that members of Patel community were segregated and not allowed to enter the cricket stadium in Rajkot where the ODI was held between India and South Africa.

“Those who were wearing T-shirts of the so-called ‘Vikas Purus’ who created a myth about development in Gujarat — our Prime Minister Narendra Modi — are allowed to go inside the stadium, but our Patel brothers, who wore T-shirts of Sardar Patel, were not allowed to go inside the stadium,” he alleged.

Earlier in the day, Hardik, along with his supporters was detained by police while he was on his way to Khandheri cricket stadium in Rajkot to attend the match. Meanwhile, Hardik still continues to be in detention.