Bandh call by Patels for quota gets little response in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: The state-wide bandh call given by the Patel community in Gujarat over the quota issue had little impact on Monday except in for some pockets dominated by the community members in different cities of the state.

The curfew imposed on Sunday in Mehasana town was lifted on Monday morning, where as the bandh call given by Sardar Patel Group after Sunday's violence in Mehasana town largely remained incident free on Monday, police said.

Police has made elaborate security arrangements in view of the bandh call but schools and colleges, public transport and trains have remained unaffected. Also, mobile and Internet services have been banned in top towns of the state like Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and
Mehasana. The restriction will continue till midnight on Monday. The bandh call given by the Patel agitators had little impact in major cities like Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot.

Even in Mehsana, where community members had on Sunday clashed with police by giving a call of Jail Bharo stir, the bandh call evoked partial response as only areas dominated by Patel population remained closed. "We lifted the curfew at 6 am as the situation was under control. No reports of untoward incident have come so far during the bandh call. Mobile Internet services will remain
closed in the city till midnight today," Mehsana District Collector Lochan Sehra said.

After violence at Modhera cross roads on Sunday, Mehsana police lodged an FIR against Sardar Patel Group (SPG) President Lalji Patel and 36 others under various sections of IPC, including loot and rioting. "We have lodged an FIR against Patel and 36 other agitators for rioting, loot, arson, damaging public property and defying orders of police. No arrests are made yet," said Police Sub Inspector of Mehsana 'B' division police S B Jadeja.

In Ahmedabad, life remained normal expect of some Patel dominated localities of eastern side of the city where shops have not opened till afternoon. School, colleges, public transport, shops and establishment remained open in the city.

In Surat also bandh had no impact as almost all the areas remained open, while in Rajkot, some Patel dominated areas remained closed but other parts of the city were unaffected by the bandh call. Curfew was on Sunday clamped in Mehsana and mobile Internet services were banned as a massive rally of the Patel community demanding reservation and immediate release of their jailed leaders turned violent with two buildings being set ablaze and some police vehicles damaged.

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