Court refuses to quash sedition charges against Hardik Patel
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday turned down a petition to quash sedition charges against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel.
Continuing his hearing on the petition filed by Patel's father Bharat Patel, a BJP activist, on October 20, Justice J.B. Pardiwala rejected the plea, days after Hardik Patel served a five-day police remand in Surat.
While a plea for his further remand was rejected by a metropolitan court in Surat, Hardik Patel found himself in the Ahmedabad Crime Branch police net again on sedition charges on him and five close associates.
They are all on police remand for a week.
The sedition charge was slapped on Hardik Patel, 22, last week after he advised a Surat youth, Vipul Desai, not to think of committing suicide but show courage to kill a policeman or two.
Desai had announced that he would commit suicide to press for the demand for reservation for the Patels under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category in government jobs and educational institutions.
Hardik Patel had called on Desai on October 3 when he took a TV channel reporter with him. Once the channel aired his remarks, it went viral on the social media.
The Crime Branch in Ahmedabad claimed they have telephone call records of conversations between the PAAS leaders and their supporters in which Hardik Patel and his associates allegedly incite youngsters to resort to violence against police and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.
It was on this basis that the agitators faced sedition charges in Ahmedabad, police said.
Meanwhile the Crime Branch suspended a police constable and a computer operator for taking a selfie picture with Hardik Patel after the photograph went viral on social network.
A departmental inquiry has been ordered against the suspended policemen.