Three killed in late night violence; Gujarat bandh today
There have been unconfirmed reports that three people were killed in Ahmedabad in the late night violence following the arrest of Hardik Patel, who is spearheading a campaign demanding OBC status for the Patel community. In north Gujarat mobs set fire to the offices of a minister and two MLAs.
Mr. Hardik Patel was released later.
A few areas in Ahmedabad, Surat, Mehsana, Visnagar, and Unjha were placed under curfew on Wednesday, while in other places paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure law and order situation in the state as Gujarat remained closed for the day.
Chief Minister Anandiben Patel briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who has agreed to provide additional companies of paramilitary forces to take the control of the situation after massive violence across the State.
“Situation is tense but under control,” said a police officer monitoring the situation.
Violence after Hardik Patel’s arrest
According to police sources, more than 50 buses were torched, while many government properties were targeted by the angry mobs, who were upset with the police crack down on agitators.
“I have asked for the report regarding police lathicharge on the crowds at GMDC ground where the agitators were on fast unto death after the rally,” said Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, while appealing the people to remain calm and maintain peace.
“I will take action against the policemen who resorted to violence. It’s shameful,” said Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha.
“We have ordered an inquiry immediately when it came to our notice that the police dealt with heavy hands,” said Gujarat’s Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel, whose ancestral house was set on fire by the angry mobs.
“The anger was against the police,” said a member of Hardik Patel-led Patel Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
The state government had also withdrawn buses on BRTS in Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot while mobile internet services were also suspended in order to prevent rumours being spread on social media.
Hardik Patel slams police
After his release from the custody, Mr. Hardik Patel also appealed for peace but slammed the police for brutal crackdown in which several media persons were also beaten up.
Mr. Hardik Patel, subsequently, announced that the entire State would observe bandh on Wednesday.
All schools and markets were closed on Wednesday while no untoward incident has been reported since morning.