Can't quash sedition charges, HC tells Hardik

His call for 'killing' cops puts him in the dock

Can't quash sedition charges, HC tells Hardik

In a jolt to Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday refused to quash sedition charges filed against him by the Surat Police.

The Surat Police had in the last week filed a case of sedition against the 22-year-old leader based on a video clip that was shown on the local television channel and had gone viral on the social media.

In the video, Hardik, the convenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) was heard advising a distressed Patel youth Vipul Desai to “kill” policemen instead of committing suicide  to press for the Patels’ reservation under the Other Backward Class  category.

On Tuesday, Justice J B Pardiwala, who was hearing the plea filed by Hardik’s father Bharat Patel seeking quashing of the sedition charges, turned down the request. The court said prima facie, sedition charges hold against him and directed the police to continue with its investigations.

The judge observed: “Advising a person to resort to violence and disturb peace in the society amounts to sedition.”

The court, however, asked for charges that accuse him of creating animosity between two communities to be dropped.

 Hardik also faces another case of sedition filed against him by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch, along with his key aides.

The crime branch has accused the Patel leaders of trying to topple the government using violent means.

They claimed to have telephonic conversations as evidence against Hardik and his associates, wherein the PAAS leaders allegedly incited their supporters to resort to violence.

 It , accordingly, obtained a seven-day remand of PAAS leaders from the metropolitan court.

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