At least six people were killed in clashes between police and protesters in Gujarat on Wednesday after a huge rally by the Patel community demanding more government jobs and college places.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for calm after a curfew was imposed and a unit of the army deployed in the state he ran for more than a decade before leading his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in last year's general elections.
Clashes broke out after the arrest of the movement's leader, 21-year-old activist Hardik Patel, prompting police to fire tear gas and to baton-charge protesters.Watch: Modi appeals for peace in home state Gujarat
Here is all you need to know about the protesters and their demands:
Who are the Patels of Gujarat?
The Patidars or the Patel community, are a largely wealthy business community that has been a driving force in India’s economy, dominating trades such as diamonds, textiles and agro businesses. The Patels, who wield wide political power in Gujarat, are divided into three sub-castes -- the Leuvas, the Kadavas and a much smaller group, Anjanas. Together, the community accounts for 12-15% of Gujarat’s 63 million people.
Why are they agitating now?
Traditionally, Patels have been seasonal farmers and small businessmen, but over the years high inflation and unhelpful government policy in Gujarat have taken the edge away off their enterprise. According to Reserve Bank of India figures, a fifth of some 260,000 micro, small and medium enterprises in Gujarat, employing about two million people, have gone sick. But at the same time the community says caste-based reservations for other communities deprived Patels of government jobs, education quotas and benefits.
Watch:Curfew imposed in parts of Gujarat after overnight violence
With agency inputs