Ahmedabad: Firebrand Patel community leader Hardik Patel was on Friday arrested again here on sedition charges after a court rejected a plea for his further remand by Surat police. The Gujarat High Court meanwhile withheld till Tuesday its verdict on a petition challenging allegations against him.
A Surat court had on Monday remanded him in police custody till Friday evening, while yet another FIR was filed against him and five supporters in Ahmedabad including charges of sedition and conspiring to overthrow a duly elected government.
The petition in the high court following his arrest in Surat was filed by his father Bharat Patel, a BJP worker challenging Hardik Patel’s arrest on October 19 on sedition charges for exhorting youngsters from his community to kill a policeman or two instead of thinking of committing suicide.
Hardik Patel had on October 3 advised Vipul Desai in Surat: “If you have so much courage, go kill a policeman or two instead of committing suicide. Patels never commit suicide.”
Once a TV channel aired his remarks, it was uploaded on the social network, sparking off a controversy.
He was slapped with a sedition charge for this. This was contested by his advocate B.M. Mangukia in the Gujarat High Court.
While putting off the hearing till Friday, the high court had on Wednesday sought the government’s explanation as to how did this amount to sedition.
In Surat, the police sought a further remand of Hardik Patel for five days but the metropolitan court rejected it. The Ahmedabad Crime Branch had already reached Surat to arrest and take him to Ahmedabad.
Hardik Patel is among six people facing sedition charges in Ahmedabad. His three close aides were produced before a court on Thursday evening on the same allegation of conspiring to dislodge an elected government.
The three are Chirag Patel, Dinesh Bamania and Ketan Patel. Two others, Alpesh Kathiria from Surat and Amrish Patel from Ahmedabad, are on the run.
Chirag Patel and Bamania were whisked away in a dramatic fashion from outside the high court on the same day Hardik Patel’s father challenged the charges on him.
Ketan Patel was later picked up from Waghai in south Gujarat. All three were remanded to police custody till 3.30 p.m. on October 29.
Now, Hardik Patel will be produced before an Ahmedabad court and the police are likely to seek his remand, along with the others.