Patidar leader Hardik Patel has demanded that all Patels convicted during the 2002 riots in Gujarat be released. However, he rued that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not acquiesce to his request as he was now trying to portray a secular image, PTI reported. Patel made his demand in a letter to Modi, listing 102 such convicts.
According to the news agency, Patel’s letter claims that Modi became powerful “taking the benefit of the 2002 riots” – Modi has long been accused of being complicit in the communal violence, which took place under his watch as chief minister of the state. Patel alleged, “Modiji has misused Gujaratis and particularly Patidars.”
Patel, who has led agitations across the state demanding reservations for the community since 2015, was arrested for sedition and spent nine months in jail. He was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court on July 8, but was asked to stay out of the state for six months. He is currently living in Udaipur.
He has, however, alleged that his movement is being restricted by the Rajasthan Police. The Rajasthan High Court on Friday sought a response on the allegation from the state government and the Udaipur Police.