Who is Riddhi Patel? Indian-American protestor arrested for threatening to 'murder' Bakersfield City council members - Hindustan Times

Who is Riddhi Patel? Indian-American protestor arrested for threatening to 'murder' Bakersfield City council members

Apr 13, 2024 01:07 PM IST

Hindu American Foundation condemns Riddhi Patel, saying, “this person invokes Gandhi & Chaitra Navaratri while threatening to murder Bakersfield leader.”

An Indian-American woman was arrested inside Bakersfield City Council chambers Wednesday night for threatening to “murder” council members and the mayor.

Riddhi Patel is arrested under 16 felony county(X)
Riddhi Patel is arrested under 16 felony county(X)

Who is Riddhi Patel?

Riddhi Patel, 28, a pro-Palestine protestor, is accused of 16 felony counts and booked into jail on suspicion of eight counts of intending to terrorize with the threats, and the rest of eight counts of threatening city officials during her speech.

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She was seen sobbing with tears after hearing the felony charges against her.

During a segment of the council meeting designated for public commentary, Patel vocalized her opposition to the proposed security measures, specifically the installation of metal detectors, which she perceived as a criminalization of the public.

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Patel’s contentious remarks directly threatened the council, stating, “You guys want to criminalize us with metal detectors,” followed by, “We’ll see you at your house. We’ll murder you.” She further escalated her rhetoric speech: “I hope one day somebody brings the guillotine and kills all of you motherf******.”

She called out “Navratri a festival of oppressors” during her speech and invoked Mahatma Gandhi and Jesu Christ just before she threatened the city council members.

The pro-Palestine protestor's inflammatory and atrocious speech quickly went viral on socials like X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok.

From Collin Rugg to the Hindu American Foundation shared the video on X, which attracted more than 3 million views.

“We are outraged that this person invokes Gandhi & Chaitra Navaratri while threatening to murder Bakersfield leaders,” the Hindu American Foundation posted.

“A known Hinduphobe, she has also been ranting against Hindus …. It’s the same antisemitic,” an Indian-American woman posted condemning Riddi's action.

KGET TV, an NBC affiliate in Bakersfield, stated the council “has been filled with tension” as “pro-Palestinian protesters urged council members to pass a cease-fire resolution for the Israel-Hamas War.”

City council is not intimidated by Riddhi's threat

In response to the turmoil, Councilman and Vice Mayor Andrae Gonzales who was there at the time of Patel's speech, stated that the council would not yield to intimidation. He condemned the threats, labelling them as “completely inappropriate, unproductive and is deeply concerning.”

Gonzales explained, “Sit at the table like adults and exchange ideas, go back and forth really trying to figure out how we can find a path together. Making real threats to elected officials and decision-makers is not the way to influence others. Nobody on the city council will be intimidated to action.”

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The United Liberation Front, a pro-Palestinian organization, distanced itself from Patel’s actions. The group issued a statement denouncing any form of threats against public officials, clarifying that Patel’s aggressive language does not align with their principles and fails to represent the United Liberation Front’s stance.

Despite the controversy, the Bakersfield City Council proceeded to approve the security enhancements, including the metal detectors, with unanimous consent during Wednesday’s meeting.

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