Other States

Police preventing people from joining hunger strike, says Hardik Patel

Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel.

Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Hardik Patel to hold fast at his residence in the outskirts of Ahmedabad from 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Amidst heavy police deployment and detention of his supporters, the Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel is set to start his indefinite hunger strike to press his demand for quota and issues of farmers. After denied permission for any venue in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, he will hold fast at his residence in the outskirts of Ahmedabad from 3 p.m. on Saturday.

In the morning, Mr. Patel claimed that thousands of his supporters have been detained or being prevented from joining his fast by the police.

“In all districts in Saurashtra, the government has imposed 144 to restrict people from gathering at any place. In all highways, police are intercepting and checking vehicles to prevent our activists and supporters,” Mr Patel told media persons, slamming the BJP government of using force to break his agitation.

“This hunger strike is not a one-day affair. Thousands across the state would sit on fast and it will continue for days. I have also invited people to come to my house to join me in the fast. This is not about me. It is about people of Gujarat” the Patidar leader said.

On Friday, Gandhinagar district administration denied him permission to hold his protest and hunger strike in the capital city, citing law and order issues.

“This all shows the government is scared of the agitation,” Mr Patel said.

Meanwhile, the state authorities have deployed police and even State Reserved Police (SRP) to maintain law and order situation in the sensitive pockets.

RB Brahmbhatt, Chief of Gujarat intelligence bureau (IB) said that 158 people from across the state have been detained by the police after the intelligence inputs gathered from across the state.

“We have specific inputs and some detentions have been made accordingly,” Mr Brahmbhatt told media persons, denying Hardik Patel’s claim that several thousand people were detained by the cops.

The police have also blocked movements near Hardik Patel’s residence and even did not allow Congress legislators Lalit Vasoya and lalit Kagathara to reach his residence to support his cause.

Meanwhile, Gujarat’s Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that the hunger strike announced by Hardik is Congress sponsored agitation to disrupt peace in the state.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 4:35:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/police-preventing-people-from-joining-hunger-strike-says-hardik-patel/article24778711.ece

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