Gujarat police has tightened the security in the state keeping in view of the bandh call given by Patidar community members on Monday demanding the release of Hardik Patel, the face of their campaign, who is presently in jail.
As per police officials the bandh call has little impact on Monday except in for some pockets dominated by the community members in different cities of the state.
As a precautionary measure state police has made elaborate security arrangements. Police has suspended mobile and Internet services towns like Ahmadabad, Surat, Rajkot and Mehasana till Monday midnight.
Two Patidar groups Sardar Patel Group (SPG) as well as Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) are participating in the bandh call demanding reservation in jobs.
States in-charge Director General of the Police P P Pandey is monitoring the security arrangements and ordered deployment of 20 companies of State Reserve Police (SRP) across the state.
“We have made all the arrangements to maintain law and order tomorrow. Twenty companies of SRP have been deployed across Gujarat. I appeal the citizens to maintain peace,” said Pandey.
Gujarat police deployed two companies of State Reserve Police in Valsad, one each in Navsari, Surat rural and six in Surat city and 100 additional state police personal in Surat for patrolling.
“Five companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and 20 companies of the State Reserve Police (SRP) have also been posted across the state,” said Gujarat Chief Secretary G R Aloria
The ongoing bandh is creating problems for commuters as the state buses services are affected by the bandh call given by Patidar leaders.
State police deployed a separate battalion of Rapid Action Force (RAF) is deployed in Mehasana after Patidar leaders clashed with state police on Sunday.
On Sunday Patel community members held a massive rally in Mehsana demanding reservation and immediate release of their jailed leaders. The rally turned violent as the angry mob resorted to arson and stone pelting. The violence quickly spread in other cities like Ahmadabad and Surat.
Police reportedly used batons and tear gas on protesting Patidar leaders in Meshing leaving 30 people including five policemen injured. Protesters also torched two government offices, resulting in a curfew to be imposed in the area. Around 15 people were also arrested
“We have deployed two companies of RAF at Ahmadabad and Mehasana. If needed, we will ask the Centre to allot 10 more companies of RAF to handle the situation,” said Aloria
The Patel community members started their agitation seeking reservation in government jobs in 2015. Hardik Patel who lead the movement is presently in jail. Hardik was arrested in a sedition case in October last year.