Other States

Crackdown on Patels: BJP leaders complain to Gujarat CM

Gujarat is limping back to normal life and no untoward incident has been reported on Friday. Photo: Vijay Soneji

Gujarat is limping back to normal life and no untoward incident has been reported on Friday. Photo: Vijay Soneji  

Gujarat government clueless on what provoked the police to target the Patel community.

Senior BJP leaders belonging to the Patel community in Gujarat have complained to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and State BJP president R.C. Faldu of “police excesses” on the agitating Patels during the two-day unrest which claimed 10 lives.

According to sources, the police went on the rampage after a mammoth rally organised by the Patel Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) seeking reservation benefits in government jobs and education and OBC status. The police had targeted Patel-dominated residential societies in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Kadi, Visnagar and several other parts of the State, they complained.

“The policemen targeted the Patel community in systematic manner. There is a pattern in the way the police dealt with the situation. The police entered residential societies, damaged vehicles and properties, beat up men and also women,” said a BJP leader, who was present in the meeting called by the Chief Minister on Friday evening.

“The State government must make an inquiry and take action against the cops. This appeared like a pre-planned attack on the Patels by the police,” BJP MP from Amreli Naran Kachhadia said. He has written a letter to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister demanding action against the police.

“They (the police) asked us to submit our daughters and sisters to them if we want reservation,” said Pravin Patel, a resident of Ghatlodia area. In his area, he claimed, the police damaged more than 80 parked cars, broke the windowpanes in houses and severely beat up men and women. “There was no control of the government on the police, who went on the rampage,” said BJP MLA Nalin Kotadia.

“The police acted like General Dyer on our people. Had they not arrested me and not resorted to a lathicharge at the venue, nothing would have happened,” quota agitation leader, Hardik Patel, told The Hindu.

Meanwhile, a rattled government appears clueless on what prompted the police to “systematically target the Patel community.”

“The Chief Minister has ordered an inquiry into the issue. We will have to get at the root of it because it seems the police action was totally unwarranted and, in fact, triggered the violence for two days,” a State government official told The Hindu.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 2:55:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/crackdown-on-patels-bjp-leaders-complain-to-gujarat-chief-minister/article7592062.ece

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