Miffed Patels Clash With Guj Police; Curfew in Mehsana
Over 400 held; mobile Net services suspended in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Mehsana
Our Political Bureau
Gandhinagar: Curfew was imposed in Mehsana town in north Gujarat following a violent confrontation between agitating Patels and the police on Sunday. The Patidars were staging a Jail Bharo programme under the leadership of the Sardar Patel group (SPG) across the state seeking release of incarcerated Patidar leaders like Hardik Patel.
SPG chief Lalji Patel received injuries in the head during the confrontation while around a thousand Patel activists were detained in Mehsana, more than 400 agitators were taken into custody in Surat. Following this development, mobile internet services were suspended in Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Mehsana. SPG chief Lalji Patel later said that his organisation will seek legal action against the police for unwarranted violence against the agitators, who were peacefully demanding the release of their leaders. He said the police used water cannon and lathis against the agitators.
“This was similar to what they had done on August 25 last year,” Patel said. It was the violent police action against the Patidars on August 25 last year that had triggered large scale violence across the state helping the agitation occupy centrestage in the state. Meanwhile, chief minister Anandiben Patel responding to a media question on agitation in south Gujarat brushed it aside saying that “let them run agitations. Our job is to serve.” While her retort is being largely read as being insensitive with the Opposition Congress jumping into condemn her, state BJP president Vijay Rupani sought to control the damage.
“TheiIncident in Mehsana is sad. No one in a democracy can take objection to a movement. But it is
not right if the agitation turns violent, best resolution can only be arrived at through dialogue.,” read a statement released by Rupani.
Police using water canon to control Patel protest in Mehsana on Sunday