Meek response to Patels' bandh call in Gujarat

Meek response to Patels' bandh call in Gujarat

Day remained violence-free except for an incident of arson

Meek response to Patels' bandh call in Gujarat

 The Gujarat bandh call given by pro-reservation leaders of Patel community evoked partial response except for some community-dominated areas of Amreli, Mehsana and Dehgam towns.

The bandh call was given in the wake of alleged police repression on the Patel agitators on Sunday post ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation by Sardar Patel Group, one of the two organizations spearheading Patel quota stir in the state since last year.

The day by and large remained incident free except an incident of arson at the unoccupied house of the Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel in Mehsana. A group of miscreants set fire to the house which was under repair after a similar case of arson in August and November last.

In another incident, some automobile tyres were burnt on the highways near Palanpur in North Gujarat to disrupt traffic from Gujarat to Rajasthan. The police, however, soon took control of the situation. No other major untoward incident was reported from any other parts of the state, with life remaining normal and shops, offices, commercial establishments and even educational institutions functioning as usual.

In some cities, primary schools were closed for the day as a precautionary measure while the North Gujarat University located at Patan, near Mehsana, postponed the day’s examinations apprehending disturbances.

Though the curfew imposed on Mehsana town since Sunday, following outbreak of violence, was lifted on Monday morning, Section 144 was in force in many cities and towns. The mobile internet services in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Mehsana and several other towns remained suspended throughout the day as a precautionary measure by the administration.

Meanwhile, the Mehsana police filed an FIR against the SPG president Lalji Patel and 50 others for what they called being instrumental in organizing events that led to violence in Mehsana. The district collector and the police claimed that the head injury sustained by Lalji Patel on Sunday was not caused by the police lathi-charge but due to stone pelting by his supporters. “The place where he was hurt and primary medical report make it clear that Lalji had suffered injury due to stone pelting and not due to lathicharge,” Mehsana SP Mandlik said.

The images of blood soaked Lalji Patel on social media had enraged many in the Patel community on Sunday, leading to violence in parts  of the state. A bandh call was given by the SPG and it was supported by the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).

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