Ahmedabad: Hardik Patel, the face of the Patidar quota agitation in Gujarat and 59 others have been booked for alleged rioting at a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator’s house in the early hours of Monday.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation councillor Paresh Patel alleged in a complaint filed with the police that Patel, who is the convenor of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and his supporters vandalised his home in the Vastral area at around 2 am.
The Patel quota agitation leader, who already faces two sedition cases, is currently out on bail.
“A case has been filed against Hardik and others in connection with a complaint by a local BJP leader. BJP government is using the state machinery to harass us and break our movement ahead of the assembly polls in Gujarat,” said Varun Patel, a media convener at PAAS. Elections in Gujarat are slated to be held by December this year and PAAS leaders and members have been holding public meetings to mobilise their community against the BJP government.
A PTI report, quoting an unnamed police official said that the group was also upset as one of their members, Kunal Patel, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly posting an objectionable message on the social media.
A case under various sections pertaining to rioting, trespassing, criminal conspiracy and related crimes was registered against all the accused.
The PAAS convenor in 2015 spearheaded a quota agitation to seek reservation in government jobs and colleges for the Patidar or Patel community under the other backward classes category. The agitation turned violent in August 2015 when over a dozen people were killed in police firing, forcing the state authorities to call in the army to restore law and order.