In a sudden move on Tuesday evening, the Ahmedabad police arrested Hardik Patel, convenor of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) who was on fast as part of the Patidar (Patels) community's agitation for demanding OBC quota.
According to police sources, Patel, along with five others were arrested under section 151 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for 'knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse', an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine or both.
Hardik Patel, 22, had led a massive rally of over 5,00,000 participants from various parts of the state who turned up at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad on Tuesday which was marred by stray incidents of vandalism and stone pelting.
According to police sources, government permission for the rally at GMDC was only till 6 pm while Patel, along with other community members was still on the venue observing fast.
However, during the arrest, police resorted to lathicharge in which several mediapersons including cameramen were also injured, along with their equipment and vehicles damaged.
A socio-economically and politically dominant community, the Patidars, comprising two groups of Kadva and Leuva Patels, held a protest rally in Ahmedabad led by the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Sardar Patel Group (SPG).
Patel had, apparently, given 48 hours ultimatum to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel to come to GMDC ground and accept the Patidar community's memorandum of demand for OBC status. However, Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel had strongly rejected the same.
At a time when Gujarat already has over 145 castes and communities in the OBC list, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel on Sunday had ruled out inclusion of Patidars in the 27 per cent OBC quota list.