#GujaratBandh: Followed by the violence, WhatsApp suspended, schools shut

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The situation in Gujarat is quite tense. It all started last month, when Patels in Gujarat protested to seek OBC status to claim the benefits of reservation. Yesterday, a massive rally was held in Ahemedabad, Gujarat, lead by the 22-year-old Hardik Patel. The rally was held to demand a reservation for Patels in government jobs and education. The police later cracked down on the organisers. Hardik Patel was briefly detained and his supporters as well as media persons were beaten.

rally in ahmedabadSource

Three people were killed yesterday late night. Mr. Patel along with his agitators was sitting on an indefinite fast after the rally. It had already turned violent with several incidents of group clashes and stone-throwing across the city.

lathi chargeSource

Mr. Patel has called for Gujarat bandh and has urged to maintain silence. He said,

I make an appeal to maintain peace and keep calm. I give a call for Gujarat bandh tomorrow. This decision has been taken by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti considering widespread violence in the state.

Many areas of Gujarat are observing a curfew today, including Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Surat, Visnagar and Unjha.

A senior police official told The Hindu,

He has been arrested because the organisers had not taken permission to hold the fast. The police permission was only for the rally and the gathering during the day.

On the whole incident, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said,

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.

She has also appealed the people to remain calm and maintain peace, in a series of tweets.

Here’s the press byte appeal of Anandiben Patel to the citizens of Gujarat

Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha said,

I will take action against the policemen who resorted to violence. It’s shameful.

Gujarat’s Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel’s ancestral house was set on fire by the angry mobs. Rajni Patel said,

We have ordered an inquiry immediately when it came to our notice that the police dealt with heavy hands.

The state government had also withdrawn buses on BRTS in Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot while mobile internet services were also suspended in order to prevent rumors being spread on social media.

Surat City Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said,

Violence has been reported in many parts of city today. We have imposed curfew in Kapodara and Althan areas of city, as violence was more widespread in these two areas. We are trying our best to control the situation.

Hardik’s aide and spokesperson of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samitin Chirag Patel said,

Police first switched off all the lights at GMDC ground and then took Hardik somewhere. Before that police lathi-charged and even beat up women and small children.

Before we start making any comments on how insensitive the whole thing is, and blame the entire Patidar commnity for the outrage, we should know the real story of Hardik Patel and what he wants and why. There is an outrage on Twitter as usual.

 

As of now, mobile internet services such as WhatsApp have been suspended in several parts of the state to check rumors that could increase the ongoing tension in Gujarat. In Vadodara, mobs are going to places and shutting everything down. We urge everyone in Gujarat to stay safe.

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