state news

Patidar agitation: In first rally since 2015, Hardik Patel asks supporters to continue quota fight

The leader told agitators not to forget the atrocities inflicted on their community.

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader Hardik Patel on Sunday held his first rally in Ahmedabad in over one-and-a-half-years and asked the agitators to continue their fight for reservation, PTI reported. “There are divisions within our community, we need to unite to make our movement strong,” he said.

This was Hardik Patel’s first public meet since his mega rally in August 2015. The gathering was held in Ahmedabad’s Nikol area to felicitate the family of army soldiers – Lance Naik Gopal Sinh Bhadoriya and Major Rushikesh Ramani – who were killed during encounters in Kashmir.

The 23-year-old asked his supporters not to forget the death of several young people due to “atrocities inflicted on them by the administration”. ”If you have forgotten the violence inflicted on our people...then go and check your DNA. You can be anything but a Patidar,” he said, according to The Times of India.

The 23-year-old leader of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti had been leading agitations, demanding Other Backward Class status and 27% reservation in government jobs and education for the Patel community. As many as 10 people had died in clashes with the police the day he was detained from the GMDC ground.

Patel was granted bail in a sedition case in July 2016, but the Gujarat High Court had ordered him to stay outside the state for six months, starting July 17. He returned to Gujarat on January 17 after staying in Udaipur.

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