Hardik claims sedition charges can’t be slapped on him

Rajkot, Oct 1: The Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today hit out at the Gujarat Government, alleging that it has been acting against him out of “revenge” and claimed his speech at the August 25 rally was not seditious.
“They (police and Government) do not even know which case attracts provisions of sedition law. My speech (at the rally) was not seditious and hence the Government can’t file an offence of sedition against me,” he told reporters here.

“Our (Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti) conveners in Himmatnagar and Vijapur are getting life-threats. Actually, the Government only wants to harass us by framing us in false cases with an intent to take revenge,” Hardik claimed. The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday ordered the police to inquire into the August 25 speech of Hardik in which he had allegedly made provocative remarks and directed them to register an offence of sedition, if required.

After the rally, violence broke out in parts of Gujarat in which 10 people, including a Police Constable, were killed. Hardik had yesterday filed a petition to recall the High Court order, but the plea was rejected today.

The 22-year-old commerce graduate had hogged limelight nationally after the rally at GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad to press for his demand of reservation for Patel community under Other Backward Class (OBC) category. Hardik was talking to reporters when he arrived here to attend a condolence meeting of a 34-year-old man from Patel community who allegedly committed suicide on September 26.

The man, Umesh Patel, had purportedly said in his suicide note that he was ending his life in support of the ongoing quota agitation. On police investigation into the suicide, Hardik said “atrocities” on the Patel community should be probed first and alleged the Government had “murdered” Umesh. “It is clear he (Umesh) had not ended his life but the Government had murdered him. We will not sit quietly and we will take revenge of his murder when the time comes,” Hardik said.