Free Press Journal

Patidar man’s death: family refuse to claim body, bandh observed in north Gujarat


Mehsana : The family of the 28-year-old man from Patidar community, who died under mysterious circumstances on Monday, refused to claim his body, even as a ‘bandh’ was observed on Thursday in several parts of north Gujarat over his death.

The deceased Ketan Patel’s kin, who have alleged custodial torture by police, refused to take his body despite an assurance of fair probe given by the Gujarat government. Ketan’s father threatened to sit outside the Mehsana civil hospital until a case was registered against the policemen “who tortured and killed” his son.

The ‘bandh’, called by several Patidar outfits, hit the daily life to a great extent in Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Patan and Banaskantha district.

Unidentified persons torched a state transport bus near Visnagar town of Mehsana district, police said.

“The bus was set on fire by a mob on Visnagar-Kada road. No one was hurt in the incident,” an official of Mehsana police control room said.

The Congress, which supported the bandh, as well as the Patidar bodies claimed that the bandh was a “success” as most business establishments and shops remained closed, particularly in Mehsana town and district.

“Not just the Patel community, people from all walks of life supported the bandh call, which met with huge success. Congress also supported of the call,” Kirtisinh Zala, a local Congress leader said.

Ketan, a resident of Balol village near Mehsana, was in judicial custody at Mehsana Sub-Jail since June 4 in a theft case. He died at the civil hospital on the night of June 5 within hours of admission.

Police had said that Ketan was arrested on June 3 after a shop owner in Balol village lodged a complaint stating that he stole around Rs 5,000 from his shop.

Though police denied it was a case of custodial death, local Patel leaders and Ketan’s family members alleged that he died due to police torture when he was in their custody before being sent to jail by the court on June 4.