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Hardik Petel supporters to intensify quota agitation


Several leaders of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on Friday decided to resume the Patel reservation agitation across Gujarat from December 15.

The move came after PAAS chief Hardik Patel and two of his associates were on Friday denied bail by an Ahmedabad sessions court on charges of sedition.

Soures said PAAS leaders were meeting Hardik Patel and his father shortly to plan the future of action since the Gujarat government was pressing its cases against him.

Other than seeking release of Patel and his associates, PAAS members would submit memoranda to various government officials across the state and demonstrate at Gandhi Ashram on December 21.

Hardik Patel, 22, has been facing cases relating to the four-month-old agitation for demanding reservations for his Patidar community under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in jobs and admissions to educational institutions.

“The court today said that prima facie charges of sedition stand. Moreover, this is not the time to examine the evidence as any relief to the respondents could potentially lead to law and order problem as they can repeat the offence,” Public Prosecutor Sudhir Brahmabhatt said after the court ruling.

“The court has accordingly rejected bail plea of Hardik Patel, Chirag Patel and Dinesh Bhamania.”

Chirag and Dinesh have been close associates of Hardik Patel and played a key role in organising and raising the pitch of Patel quota stir in the state since July.

The Ahmedabad crime branch had on October 21 charged Hardik and five of his key aides for waging war against the government, promoting enmity between different communities and assertions prejudicial to national integrity.

Hardik Patel filed a plea before the Ahmedabad sessions court in November, seeking quashing of the charges. “They have a right to approach the high court,” the public prosecutor said.

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