37 Patel community members demanding Hardik release arrested

Ahmedabad: Police today foiled a proposed indefinite hunger strike by Patel community members, who were arrested for staging without permission a protest demanding release of incarcerated quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and withdrawal of sedition charges against him and others.

Police arrested 37 members of the community, including their leader Lalji Patel, for demonstrating in front of Sabarmati Ashram here.

“We have arrested 37 people as they tried to protest without permission in front of Sabarmati Ashram,” Ranip area Police Inspector V B Patel said.

They included Lalji of Sardar Patel Group (SPG) and Atul, Convenor of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), Ahmedabad unit, he said.

PAAS, spearheading the stir demanding reservation for the community in government jobs and educational institutes, has sought immediate release of its jailed leaders, including Hardik.

Leaders of PAAS earlier handed over a memorandum to District Collectors and other government officials at taluka level in various parts of the state and said if their leaders are not released, they will start a stir from today.

The Samiti also asked the government to withdraw sedition charges against their leaders Hardik, Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya and Nilesh Arvadia.

As part of the stir for their release, PAAS members were to sit on an indefinite hunger strike. However, police foiled their plan by placing them under arrest.