AHMEDABAD -- Police have released Hardik Patel, who has been spearheading the Patel community's agitation for reservations, after violence over his detention spread. Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has requested protestors to not indulge in violence.
Hardik Patel had been detained earlier today after he launched a hunger strike after the rally at the GMDC ground without permission, officials said.
"Vastrapur police station's inspector M M Shaikh today went to the GMDC ground and detained Hardik Patel as he sat on dharna (and hunger strike) without taking police permission," police station officer Pravin Solanki told PTI earlier.
When asked where Hardik was taken, Solanki had said, "Hardik has been taken to the city police headquarters in Shahibaugh here as police suspected that if Hardik was kept at Vastrapur police station, people will gather there to protest."
Hardik Patel leaves from Police Station after being released. pic.twitter.com/DZ6wgjK91Y— ANI (@ANI_news) August 25, 2015
Hardik Patel's aide and spokesperson of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti Chirag Patel alleged that the police beat up the protesters including some children and women before taking Hardik away.
"Police first switched off all the lights at GMDC ground and then took Hardik somewhere. Before that police lathicharged and even beat up women and small children," Patel alleged.
Protesters from Patel Community set a van on fire in Surat, Gujarat pic.twitter.com/R1Da7aiDMo— ANI (@ANI_news) August 25, 2015
During the massive rally of Patels today to demand reservations under OBC category, Hardik Patel made a sudden announcement that he will sit on a hunger strike, and demanded that Chief Minister Anandiben Patel should come to the venue to accept memorandum of the Samiti.
Patel Community OBC Reservation demand: Police lathicharge on protesters at protest site in Ahmedabad pic.twitter.com/6q465O7Zgi— ANI (@ANI_news) August 25, 2015
Ketan Patel, Nikhil Savani and Dhiru Mandaviya had joined Hardik Patel in the hunger strike. According to Hardik, Nikhil Savani was on indefinite hunger strike, while he and two others will be on hunger strike for 48 hours.
"We expect the CM to come here in two days. We will announce future course of action after that," Hardik had had said earlier.