Patel quota agitation: The state-wide bandh call given by the Patel community in Gujarat over the quota issue had little impact today except in for some pockets dominated by the community members in different cities of the state. The curfew imposed yesterday in Mehasana town was lifted this morning, where as the bandh call given by Sardar Patel Group after yesterday’s violence in Mehasana town largely remained incident free today, police said.
Police has made elaborate security arrangements in view of the bandh call but schools and colleges, public transport and trains have remained unaffected. Also, mobile and Internet services have been banned in top towns of the state like Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Mehasana. The restriction will continue till midnight today. (Also read. Patidars call for Gujarat bandh today after quota stir turns violent)
The bandh call given by the Patel agitators had little impact in major cities like Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot. Even in Mehsana, where community members had yesterday clashed with police by giving a call of Jail Bharo stir, the bandh call evoked partial response as only areas dominated by Patel population remained closed.
“We lifted the curfew at 6 AM as the situation was under control. No reports of untoward incident have come so far during the bandh call. Mobile Internet services will remain closed in the city till midnight today,” Mehsana District Collector Lochan Sehra told PTI. After violence at Modhera cross roads yesterday, Mehsana police lodged an FIR against Sardar Patel Group (SPG) President Lalji Patel and 36 others under various sections of IPC, including loot and rioting. (Also read. As Patidars, police clash in Gujarat, curfew, arrests, Internet services curbed)
“We have lodged an FIR against Patel and 36 other agitators for rioting, loot, arson, damaging public property and defying orders of police. No arrests are made yet,” said Police Sub Inspector of Mehsana ‘B’ division police S B Jadeja. In Ahmedabad, life remained normal expect of some Patel dominated localities of eastern side of the city where shops have not opened till afternoon. School, colleges, public transport, shops and establishment remained open in the city.
In Surat also bandh had no impact as almost all the areas remained open, while in Rajkot, some Patel dominated areas remained closed but other parts of the city were unaffected by the bandh call. Curfew was yesterday clamped in Mehsana and mobile Internet services were banned as a massive rally of the Patel community demanding reservation and immediate release of their jailed leaders turned violent with two buildings being set ablaze and some police vehicles damaged. (Also read. Mehsana clashes: Internet services banned; Rajnath Singh speaks with Gujarat CM)