Two buses were set on fire in Surat’s Varaccha locality on Tuesday after Gujarat’s Surat Police detained about a dozen youth from the Patidar community for allegedly trying to disrupt an event organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing, NDTV reported.
The protestors are believed to be members of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti led by Hardik Patel. They were trying to protest while the Gujarat BJP’s youth wing was trying to hold a meeting at the Saurashtra Bhavan.
The Surat Police chief said some people at the venue had pelted stones at the police, PTI reported. “They even torched two buses at the Hirabaug circle,” Satish Sharma said. “Luckily, no one was injured. The situation is now under control in Kapodra area as well as rest of the city.”
Hardik Patel claimed that the police had baton-charged protestors even though their agitation was peaceful. He also asked the police to not allow any event in Patel-dominated areas of the city. He tweeted a warning, saying, “There will be a stir in Gujarat if those detained are not released soon.”
The violence in Surat triggered agitations in Ahmedabad, where some youth began to shout slogans about the ongoing Patel agitation demanding reservation in government jobs. Here, too, a number of protestors were taken into preventive custody, the Hindustan Times reported.
The police have stationed additional officers across Surat to avoid further violence. They said the Patidars, also known as Patels, had staged a number of protests over the past few days in the city.
Surat has a population of 10 lakh Patels.
President of Gujarat BJP youth wing Rutvij Patel said the “ruckus was created by six to seven persons” and that the incident did not reflect the sentiment of the entire Patel community.