Patels to court arrest tomorrow in 2nd phase of quota stir

Ahmedabad: Resuming their agitation for reservation, members of the Patel community will court arrest en masse in Mehsana tomorrow as part of the second round of the stir, even as the district administration issued notice to the campaign organisers terming it as illegal.

Agitators under the banner of Sardar Patel Group (SPG) with the support of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) will gather in Mehsana to form a human chain.

They will then move towards the Mehsana sub jail and court arrest, a senior SPG member said, claiming that around 50,000-1 lakh agitators from across Gujarat are expected to reach Mehsana.

Talks with the Gujarat government over the 27-point demands on April 11 failed and hence, SPG has decided to resume the stir, the leader said.

SPG convener Lalji Patel said the planned ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation is being organised as their one-month ultimatum to the government to concede to the demands expired with “no favourable result”.

“We had given the government one-month ultimatum to meet our demands. But during this period, the government only talked and did nothing. This has forced us to go ahead with our planned agitation,” he added.

Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, presently in judicial custody, said he will compromise with the state government on the issue of reservation only if it is “in favour of their community”.

“We will surely compromise (on the reservation issue) if it is in favour of our community,” Patel told reporters when he was being produced before a local court.

Meanwhile, Mehsana collector Lochan Sehra said the district administration has served notice against the stir
terming it as “illegal”.

“The organisers had intimated the mamlatdar (government official) that they are going to hold ‘jail Bharo andolan’. The mamlatdar has served them notice stating that they can’t hold the stir as it is illegal. They have also been told that they will be held responsible for any law and order problem,” Sehra said.

A Committee of Ministers headed by state Health Minister Nitin Patel, formed to negotiate with the Patel leaders, had recently handed over a report on a compromise formula to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

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