Several Patels in Mehsana get heads tonsured in protest against custodial death

Several Patels in Mehsana get heads tonsured in protest against custodial death
Several members of the Patidar community on Saturday got their heads tonsured to protest against the alleged custodial death of 30-year-old Ketan Mahendrabhai Patel in Mehsana.

The members got their heads shaved inside the campus of Mehsana civil hospital and have vowed to send their hair to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, Home minister, Home secretary and state DGP, as mark of their protest against the state government's failure to ensure swift action against the culprits responsible for death of Ketan in police custody.

“Community members got their heads tonsured near the body of Ketan kept in the postmortem room of the hospital to pray for the peace of the soul,” Narendra Patel, senior Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti member from Mehsana, said. Other than PAAS, another organization fighting for cause of Patels in the state, Sardar Patel Group, head Lalji Patel too got his head tonsured.

Ketan was arrested on Saturday last in a case related to theft of Rs 9,500 by local police in Mehsana. The tempers in the town soared as the news of death of the youngster surfaced on Tuesday, causing outrage among the community members and family of Ketan claiming that he had died due to severe beating by policemen in their custody - an allegation denied by the police, which claimed that Ketan died at Mehsana civil hospital to which he was referred by sub-jail doctor on Monday.

Yesterday, a panel of doctors conducted a second post-mortem on Ketan’s body after the chief judicial magistrate, who was probing the case, directed the authorities to conduct the post mortem as Ketan's kin who were not satisfied with the first post mortem conducted on June 7. Ketan's father Mahendra Patel had threatened to sit outside the Mehsana civil hospital until a case was registered against the policemen under Section 302 of IPC.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Congress party incharge and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot and state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki visited the family of Ketan in Mehsana on Saturday to lend their support.

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