Hardik Patel, who is leading the Patel quota agitation, was placed under arrest on Saturday evening for trying to hold a protest march defying government orders but was released on bail by a court soon afterwards.
Hardik and his supporters who were detained from Varachha area in Surat earlier in the day were produced before a magistrate who granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 1000 each, following which he was released on Saturday night.
An FIR was registered against the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener under section 188 of the IPC, hours after he was detained along with 78 other protesters.
“The government and the police of Gujarat just want to create unrest in the state,” said Patel after he was detained in Surat.
The Gujarat government had on Friday denied permission for Patel’s ‘Ekta Yatra’ plan citing law and order issues, but he had announced they would hold the non-violent protest rally anyway.
Soon after Patel was taken into custody by the police sporadic clashes erupted in different parts of Gujarat.
Police used batons and tear gas after groups of his supporters blocked roads and held sit-ins to pretest the government action.
22-year old Patel, who burst into the limelight in July this year, has been protesting to demand reservation in education and jobs for the Patidars, a largely wealthy business community in the state. He organised a massive rally in August in Ahmedabad that led to two days of violence across the state in which 10 people were killed.
Ban on internet services
In a bid to curb spread of rumours after the detention of Hardik, the Gujarat administration banned mobile internet services across the state.
“We have decided to ban mobile internet service in the state to tackle the law and order situation and to curb the rumours across Gujarat for an indefinite period,” PC Thakur, director general of police, said.
According to a notification issued by Ahmedabad city police commissioner Shivanand Jha, mobile internet services have been banned from this afternoon to 12pm on September 20.
Jha in the notification said the action has been taken to curb rumours after Hardik’s detention and to control the law and order situation.
Soon after the 22 year-old leader’s detention, Surat district collector issued notification putting ban on mobile internet services for 24 hours.
In Rajkot also, mobile internet services have been prohibited for a week, said district collector Manisha Chandra.