Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Monday said the BJP governments in Rajasthan and Gujarat could get him killed in a fake encounter to derail his movement.
“The police of Rajasthan and Gujarat are known for organising fake killings in the past,” the convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti told HT.
He said he was a social worker and not a terrorist. “I am free to go anywhere in the country except Gujarat and I don’t need to anyone’s permission for that.”
Patel alleged that police on Sunday put him under a virtual house arrest after they stopped him from going to a temple on Sunday.
“Let the government use its machinery against me but I will not get scared and deviate from my agenda of reservation for the Patidar community. I will visit tribal areas soon,” he said.
Hardik, 23, is staying in Udaipur after the Gujarat high court, while granting him bail in a case of rioting, asked him to remain away from Gujarat for six months. A relatively unknown figure, Patel shot to prominence last year when he led a Patidar stir for reservation in education and jobs. He also faces sedition charges.
The Patel community constitutes around 12% of the 30 million people living in Gujarat. According to Hardik, there are about 1.50 lakh Gujarati Patels living in Udaipur.
On Sunday, a Rajput group submitted a memorandum to Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria against Patel’s stay in Udaipur.
“Mewar is a peaceful region. We cannot allow leaders such as Patel to vitiate the atmosphere here,” Sakal Rajput Mahasang Mewar founder Tanveer Singh Krishnawat said.
Describing the memorandum a “stunt” by the BJP, Patel said such things would not disturb his fight.