Hardik Patel, the 22-year-old who is spearheading the Patel quota agitation has been slapped with sedition charges by Gujarat Police.
Hardik Patel has been booked for sedition for his comments on October 3 where he allegedly instigated a Patel community youth to kill policemen instead of committing suicide.
“If you have so much courage…then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide,” Hardik allegedly said this to Vipul Desai, a member of the Patel community. Desai had announced that he would commit suicide in support of the agitation. The Patels are demanding a quota under the OBC category.
Hardik visited Desai’s house on October 3 where he made the controversial statement.
“We have filed a case of sedition against Hardik Patel for his October 3 comments here telling his friends to kill policemen,” DCP Marland Chauhan said, who is also a complainant in the case.
The sedition charge has been filed under section 124(A) of IPC at Amroli police station in Surat.
On Sunday, Hardik was detained in Rajok ahead of the third ODI between India and South Africa. Hardik had threatened to derail the match by blocking the entry of both the teams into the stadium in Rajkot.
Hardik’s detention sparked protest in a few places in Gujarat. In Morbi, a state transport bus was torched, while Patel leaders blocked the National Highway 8 passing through Surat.
The leader of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PASS) had alleged that members of the Patel community were deliberately not given tickets for the match.
He had also urged Patel community members to remain present in a large numbers during the match to raise the reservation demand.
The police picked up Hardik and four of his close aides on Sunday afternoon from Madhapar crossroads while he was on his way to the Khandheri stadium near Rajkot.
“I can’t believe that Hardik would just sit quietly and do nothing during the match. He has already threatened to disrupt the match by various means. We were sure he would have done something mischievous if he had been allowed to go inside the stadium. So we have detained him,” the SP Gagandeep Gambhir said on Sunday after detaining Hardik.
Earlier in August, Hardik’s brief detention in Ahmedabad during his mega rally, sparked violence across the state in which 10 people were killed.
(With inputs from PTI)