Hardik begins indefinite fast in Ahmedabad

Hardik began his fast at 3.00 pm after offering prayers to Umiya Mata and Khodal Mata, deities of both the sects of Patel community Leuva and Kadva Patidar and lighting a lamp. (PTI Photo)

24-year-old Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel on Saturday began his indefinite fast at his residence at Greenwoods City on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, where a temporary platform has been erected.

Hardik began his fast at 3.00 pm after offering prayers to Umiya Mata and Khodal Mata, deities of both the sects of Patel community Leuva and Kadva Patidar and lighting a lamp.

Hardik had been denied official permission for a venue to sit on fast in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar despite repeated requests. “The permission has not been granted after detailed review of law and order situation. There were incidents of violence after August 25, 2015, mega rally in Ahmedabad and even on August 19 this year, the day of the token fast, violence was witnessed in Surat,” R B Brahmabhatt, Additional DGP, Gujarat, told reporters.

He also denied allegations levelled by Hardik earlier in the day that over 16,000 of his supporters had been detained from across the state for wanting to come and join him at the venue of the fast. “It is wrong propaganda. So far we have detained only 158 persons from across the state. We will initiate strict action against those spreading wrong information on social media,” ADGP said.

The police had also deployed a posse of personnel right at the outside gate of the residential facility of Hardik to prevent supporters from entering the premises. When some local Congress leaders tried to enter premises of Hardik’s fast, they were not allowed to take a posse of supporters along.

Hardik was joined by a group of about a couple of hundred supporters sporting white Gandhian caps on his fast. The caps, which earlier sported slogans of ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Patidaar’ had been replaced by slogans of ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Kisan’ and ‘InquilaZindabadad’. The banners in the background also had pictures of Bhagat Singh, Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi, along with a replica of a plough, the symbol of farming.

“Our fight is for all the sections of the society. Along with reservations we are also fighting for debt waiver of farmers…Our request to police is that instead of making us suffer, they should shoot us on the chest and perhaps then the agitation would end. Till then we would continue with our fight,” Hardik, clothed in a white shirt and, told reporters before beginning his fast.

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Hardik begins indefinite fast in Ahmedabad

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