Ahmedabad: Hardik Patel, leader of the Patel agitation for OBC quota in Gujarat, on Thursday demanded Rs35 lakh as compensation to the relatives of each of his community members killed in widespread violence in the state.
In an attempt to intensify the agitation in the state, Hardik also asked farmers of his community not to supply essential commodities like vegetables and milk to cities to support of their demand of reservation under OBC quota.
“First, suspend those policemen who were involved in atrocities on our people and give a compensation of Rs35 lakh to our children who have become martyrs in this movement,” Hardik told reporters while replying to a query on his demand from the state government.
“I will urge my farmer brothers not to supply vegetables and milk and do not come out to provide essential items in cities,” Hardik said, adding that they will intensify their movement till their OBC quota demand is not accepted. “We live peacefully, but if they (police) will attack us, we will never leave them,” he said.
When asked who was responsible for the violence in Gujarat, the 22-year-old Patel community leader put the onus on, “The police, the state government and some anti-social elements.” “This agitation ran for 55 days peacefully, but when 20 lakhs people of Patel community gathered at GMDC ground, they (the state government) instigated violence on that day as they did not want us to make the headlines of the newspapers,” Hardik alleged.
“The way police committed atrocities on our youths and sisters, it reminds me of the Jallianwala Bagh incident...They acted like General Dyre here,” he said, referring to the role of the city police who had stormed to his rally venue and allegedly beat up people there.
At least nine persons have died in clashes with police during the widespread violence that spread in the state after Hardik’s detention from his rally venue at GMDC ground here. Hardik, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, has been spearheading the movement of reservation for Patels under Other Backward Class (OBC).