Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel was on Sunday detained by police while he was on his way to Khandheri Cricket Stadium in the city ahead of the India-South Africa One day international (ODI) match in Rajkot.
As a means to mount pressure on the government to fulfill Patel reservations, Hardik who has been agitating over the last couple of months, had threatened to wreck the match at Khandheri Cricket Stadium at Rajkot on Sunday.
“Police detained Hardik Patel from Madhapar cross road area today when he was on his way to Khandheri Cricket Stadium in the city, where an ODI between India and South Africa is scheduled to be played,” reported the Superintendent of Police of Jamnagar (Rural) Pradip Sejul.
Hardik was taken to SRP headquarters in Ghanteswar area on the city’s outskirts said Rajkot (Rural) Superintendent of Police Gagandeep Gambhir.
Surprisingly, minutes before his detention, Hardik who had earlier threatened to stage protests at the ODI venue, told reporters that he just wanted to watch the match like any common spectator.
“We have not come here to protest, but we just want to watch the match with our Patidar (Patel) brothers. Like many other spectators who have come here to cheer up Indian team. We have tickets for the match also,” Hardik said.
“I want to urge to the people to keep calm and not to do anything that will breach peace and law and order situation of Gujarat,” said Hardik in reversal to his earlier words .
Notably, four other Patel quota agitation supporters were also detained along with Hardik. He had previously urged the Patel community members to be present in large numbers at the stadium to raise their reservation demand.
Besides which Hardik warned the state, that if he and his fellow protesters were not allowed to reach the stadium to protest, they will block the roads and not allow the two teams to reach the venue.
In the wake of the threat and given the large scale violence the state witnessed recently over the quota stir, the Rajkot administration had banned mobile Internet services in the district the over the night. The Police had fortified the stadium, the location for the third cricket match under the Gandhi-Mandela freedom series.