Hardik Patel, who has been leading an agitation to press for reservation for the Patel community in Gujarat, and 78 other protestors were detained on Saturday in Surat for trying to hold a protest march.
Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Patel and his supporters have been moved to Varachha police station in Surat, according to ANI.
“The government and the police of Gujarat just want to create unrest in the state,” said Patel after his detention.
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.
“We spoke to the Gujarat government about the police atrocities and they promised us a solution in 10 days. There has been no suspension yet. So, we will hold a protest rally tomorrow but with a twist,” Patel had said on Friday.
“The protest rally would be non-violent. We will make sure no one incurs any loss because of the rally. But the rally would be without any permission,” he added.
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.
The 22-year-old leader also said they would be holding rallies in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Haryana. He made it clear that the rally in Bihar will be for the Patel community and not aimed at any political party.
Patel had earlier this month met former chief minister and important Patidar leader Keshubhai Patel before a meeting of the PAAS core team with Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel over alleged police atrocity on the community members.
(With agency inputs)