AHMEDABAD: An FIR has been filed against 22-year-old political activist and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel accusing him of sedition.
According to reports, he was caught on camera reportedly saying that instead of committing suicide for the cause of reservations of Patels, the supporters should rather kill policemen. “Kill 2-3 policemen but no Patel should die,” Hardik reportedly said on October 3. (Also Read: Who is Hardik Patel? What is the real story behind his detention?)
Questioning the authenticity of the tape, Patel alleged that the comments he made during a conversation with a supporter who threatened to kill himself have been ‘misinterpreted’.
However, the Gujarat Police claims that the video tape is definitely not ‘doctored’ and the FIR was filed on late Sunday night against Patel and he was charged with sedition, which is a serious and non-bailable offence.
Hardik Patel is already under arrest in Rajkot but was detained on Sunday morning while he was on his way to the stadium where a cricket match between India and South Africa was being played.
The Rajkot Police did not set him free and on Sunday evening, again took him into custody for allegedly showing disrespect to the Tricolour. He was found trampling the flag and holding it upside down.
Patel is popular in Gujarat as the face of protest by the political influential Patel community that is demanding reservation in government colleges and jobs. The young activist’s attempts to gather crowds and stage a protest, ever since his brief detention last month, were quashed by the Gujarat Police.
His protests have led to his arrest several times in the past few months but Patel accused the Gujarat Police of abducting him last month.
In a shocking move, Hardik Patel threatened the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah last week. “I request Amit Shah to stay away from the Patel community’s agitation to get reservation. We will not stop it just because you want it. The agitation will not stop till I am alive. And if you still want to crush the stir by force, then you will have to kill me,” Patel said.
On the other hand, the BJP-ruled State has clearly denied giving into the demands of Patel and has claimed that it will not be able to meet the reservation demand of the Patels.