Hardik Patel gets 2-year jail for violence during 2015 Patidar agitation
25 July 2018
`Patidar’ firebrand Hardik Patel has been sentenced to two years jail for vandalism at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Rushikesh Patel's office in Visnagar during 2015 Patidar protests.
The Visnagar Court in Gujarat found the convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) guilty and sentenced him to two years in jail and a fine of Rs50,000.
Besides Hardik, the court also found Sardar Parel Group (SPG) convener Lalji Patel and another Patidar leader Ambalal Patel guilty and sentenced them also to two years in jail each with a fine of Rs50,000. The court, however, let off the other 14 accused for want of sufficient evidence against them.
Hardik Patel is one of the accused in the FIR, which was filed at Visnagar in Mehsana district on 23 July 2015, when a rally of the Patel community seeking reservation turned violent, resulting in damage to property and assault on some media persons. During the violent agitation, the mob had torched a car and vandalised the office of local BJP MLA Rishikesh Patel.
Hardik's Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been protesting demanding reservation in government jobs and education for the Patel community under Other Backward Classes in Gujarat.
He was also booked under sedition charges in October 2015 over his provocative remarks where he had asked his supporters to kill policemen rather than commit suicide for the cause of reservation. He was arrested and imprisoned in Surat after he led a huge revolt of the Patidar community. His arrest had led to large-scale arson and violence by his supporters in some towns in the state.