Ahead of PM Modi’s Gujarat visit, Hardik Patel and Patidar youths tonsure heads
Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel said they are demanding action against police in connection with the killing of Patidar youths in 2015 police firing.Updated: May 21, 2017 16:42 IST
On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to his home state, Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel and 50 of his community youths tonsured their heads on Sunday to kick start Nyay Yatra.
The two-day Nyay Yatra (march for justice) began from Lathidal in Botad and will cover 51 villages before concluding in Bhavnagar on Monday.
“Nyay Yatra is for pressing our demands for justice against police atrocities on agitators in 2015 that left 13 youths dead,” said Patel.
“We are starting yatra from Botad where the PM inaugurated an irrigation project during his previous Gujarat visit.”
Patidars, a financially and politically influential community and BJP supporters for three decades, are up in arms against the state government seeking OBC status. Twenty-three-year-old Patel, who was jailed for nine months and exiled for another six months in connection with two sedition cases, has emerged as the face of the agitation.
Modi will begin the Gujarat visit on Monday from Kutch district where he will inaugurate development projects at Kandla and dedicate Narmada Water pumping station at Bhachau.
On Tuesday, he will inaugurate the annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
The five-day AfDB meeting will have in attendance private sector representatives from across Africa, finance ministers from 80 countries besides heads of states from several African countries.
This is Modi’s third visit to the state in this election year. On April 7, he had visited Botad to inaugurate the Link 2 of the state government’s ambitious SAUNI (Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation) project by formally releasing Narmada water into Krushnasagar dam.
Earlier, on March 8, he had visited Gandhinagar to address women sarpanchs from across the country on the International Women’s Day.