Congress leader Hardik Patel was on Thursday arrested immediately after he walked out of Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad, after he got bail in a sedition case, PTI reported. Patel was arrested by the Gandhinagar district police in a 2017 case connected to addressing a political rally allegedly without permission.
A local court in Ahmedabad had on Wednesday granted bail to Patel, four days after he was arrested for failing to appear before the court in a 2015 sedition case. Patel, the leader of the Patidar agitation, was charged with sedition after violence broke out during a rally of the Patel community in Ahmedabad on August 25, 2015. Patel’s outfit, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, had demanded Other Backward Class status and 27% reservation in government jobs and education for the Patidar community.
Patel spent nine months in jail – October 2015 to July 2016 – in connection with the case before being granted bail. Two years later, in November 2018, the court framed charges against him and the other accused persons. On January 18, he was arrested for allegedly violating bail conditions by not regularly attending court proceedings.
On Thursday, Mansa Police Sub-inspector SS Pawar said: “We arrested Hardik Patel as soon as he walked out of the jail today. Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections in December 2017, he had addressed a gathering in Mansa town without police permission. While the FIR was lodged at that time, he was arrested in the case today.”
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi had on January 19 criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat for arresting Patel. “Hardik Patel, who has been fighting for the employment of the youth and farmers’ right, is being frequently harassed by the BJP,” she tweeted. Patel had joined the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.