Situation calm in Gujarat, all eyes on Shwetang Patel's funeral | india | Hindustan Times
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Situation calm in Gujarat, all eyes on Shwetang Patel's funeral

The Bapunagar police on Saturday filed an FIR, as per the direction of the Gujarat high court, in connection with the custodial death of 32-year-old Shwetang Patel.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2015 00:21 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

The Bapunagar police on Saturday filed an FIR, as per the direction of the Gujarat high court, in connection with the custodial death of 32-year-old Shwetang Patel.

Meanwhile, the possibility of a massive turnout during his funeral on Sunday kept the security establishment on alert.

On Saturday, no incident of violence was reported from any part after curfew was lifted early morning in all nine police station areas.

Though neighbours and Patidar community leaders at Matrushakti society, where Shwetang lived, said they wished to keep the funeral a low-key affair, sources within the community said the turnout could run into several thousands. Shwetang was picked up by police during the riots on Wednesday.

Deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Zone V, Sweta Shrimali, told HT on Saturday that “adequate arrangements” had been made. Columns of paramilitary personnel have already been stationed inside the housing society as well as the locality. She said the family has not intimated the timing of the funeral procession.

On Saturday, the Bapunagar police registered the FIR on the complaint by Prabhaben Patel, Shwetang’s mother, under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 365 (wrongful restrain), and 114 (abettor present when the offence is committed). DCP Shrimali said the FIR was immediately transferred to the CID (crime) for investigation as per the Gujarat high court’s direction.

Shwetang’s relatives, however, alleged that a non-cooperative police registered the FIR only at 5am on Saturday although the complaint was made soon after the court’s order on Friday afternoon.

Politicians and community leaders visited the society through the day. Former state home minister Govardhan Zadafia told HT he would urge the police administration not to deploy any uniformed policemen during the procession so as to avoid any reaction. “If people see khaki-clad personnel, who they hold responsible for his death, there would be a reaction. Instead, paramilitary personnel should be deployed,” he said. But DCP Shrimali said such demands were not possible as deployment was the police’s prerogative.

On rumours that Hardik Patel might join the procession, Zafadia said he would avoid it in the interest of law and order.