OBC quota: 3 killed in violence, bandh paralyses life in Guj
Ahmedabad, Aug 26 (PTI) Tension mounted in Gujarat as three persons were killed in widespread violence sparked by detention of Hardik Patel who today vowed to intensify the agitation for OBC quota for Patel community. Apprehending more trouble, curfew was clamped in parts of Ahmedabad and other major cities across the state today. Apart from Ahmedabad, curfew had been clamped in Surat, Mehsana, Rajkot, Jamnagnar and Patan cities. Fresh violence broke out during the day-long bandh called by the Patel outfit demanding OBC quota for the community in Gujarat, a day after the mega rally here. In a televised address in Gujrati, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for calm and emphasised that all issues can be resolved through talks. “In the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, the way violence has been resorted to as a tool….I appeal to all brothers and sisters of Gujarat that they should not resort to violence. The only ‘Mantra’ must be ‘Shanti’ (peace),” said Modi, who has been Chief Minister of the state for 12 years. About 5,000 paramilitary personnel were today rushed to Gujarat in the wake of violence. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel this morning and assured her of full central help to tackle the situation. Hardik blamed police for the violence and said the agitation will intensify in the coming days. Rejecting suggestions that the protesters started the violence last night, he accused the police of trying to “disrupt” the “movement” at the behest of the political establishment. “Police have recovered bodies of three persons who were suspected to have been killed in violence spread across the city,” police spokesman N D Trivedi said. According to a senior police official, two persons died in police firing in Vastral area, while body of a man was found in Ghatlodia in the city. “Girish Patel (47) and his son Siddharth Patel (20) were killed in police firing late last night,” he said. “The incident took place when a mob tried to snatch the weapons of police. These two had tried to snatch a rifle of a policemen and during the scuffle it went off causing the the casualties,” he claimed. In Ghatlodia, police recovered the body of a man who died due to severe head injury. The deceased is believed to have been beaten up in the clash last night, police said. Normal life was paralysed as schools,colleges, business establishments including banks and public transport remained closed in most places in view of the bandh call given by 22-year-old Hardik after his brief detention yesterday when he was protesting for quota at the GMDC ground here. Incidents of arson and stone-pelting were reported in many parts of Surat city today, when Patel community members came out in large numbers to “enforce” the bandh.