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Mobile internet banned in Rajkot as Hardik Patel warns stir at ODI venue

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Rajkot: The Rajkot administration tonight banned mobile internet services in the district, ahead of the India-South Africa cricket ODI to be played tomorrow, after Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel threatened to stage a protest at the cricket stadium during the match.

“We have decided to ban mobile internet service from 10pm tonight to 8am on October 19,” district collector Manisha Chandra said.

“The ban has been imposed to maintain peace, stop spread of rumours and for smooth conduct of the international cricket match”, she said.

The third ODI of the five match series will be played at SCA stadium in Khandheri village on the outskirts of the city.

The ban comes a day after Hardik Patel had threatened that his community members would block the way of Indian and South African cricket teams to Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium and not let them enter the venue if he and his supporters are not allowed to go inside to stage an agitation.

The 22-year-old leader today said they have got tickets for the match and will go to the stadium.

His aide Dinesh Patel said Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) conveners of Saurashtra region and other associates will go to watch the match and if they are stopped, the state government will have to face the wrath of the patidar community.