Ahemedabad: Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Friday said that he would proceed on an indefinite hunger strike from today even if authorities deny him permission for it or the court cancels his bail. He made the remark on the eve of the third anniversary of the quota agitation in Gujarat.
"Not Afraid Of Going Behind Bars": Hardik Patel To Launch Strike Today
Three years ago, clashes broke out during the quota protests led by Hardik Patel in August 25, 2015, leading to the death of 14 people and large-scale destruction of public property.
Gandhinagar Collector S K Langa on Friday denied Mr Patel the permission to hold the fast at Satyagrah Chhavni area.
Meanwhile, the city sessions court is expected to announce its verdict on Monday on a government plea seeking cancellation of Mr Patel's anticipatory bail in a rioting case.
Speaking to the reporters on Friday in the wake of these two developments, Mr Patel said that he would proceed with the fast in jail, in the event of the court cancelling his bail, or at home if government authorities deny him a venue for the protest.
"If the court cancels my bail than I am ready to go to jail. I will sit on hunger strike in jail. I am not afraid of the BJP government or of going behind bars. I am not going to drop my plans out of any intimidation," Mr Patel told reporters in Ahmedabad.
Hitting out at the state government, he said, "I am not being allotted a venue (for the fast) because the government is afraid of me. I will sit on hunger strike at my house if need be. However, attempts are being made to stop me from sitting on fast at my house."
Mr Patel claimed that several national leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee, may come to Gujarat to support him.
"This hunger strike is not a one-day affair. Thousands across the state would sit on fast and it will continue for days. I have also invited people to come to my house to join me in the fast. This is not about me. It is about numerous people" the Patidar leader said.
Earlier this month, Hardik Patel had announced that he would sit on an indefinite hunger strike from August 25 at a ground in Nikol area
in Ahmedabad demanding reservations for Patidars and loan waivers for farmers.
After being denied permission for the Nikol venue since it was now a parking lot, Mr Patel approached the Gandhinagar collector seeking Satyagrah Chhavni as an alternate spot for the fast. This, too, was rejected today by the Gandhinagar collector.
"Based on the opinion of the police on law and order and past experiences, we have decided not to grant permission," Collector Langa told reporters on Friday.
Meanwhile, a sessions court on Friday reserved its order on the state government's plea to cancel Mr Patel's anticipatory bail in a rioting case lodged against him in March 2017 for allegedly creating ruckus outside Vastral BJP corporator Paresh Patel's residence.
While he had obtained anticipatory bail in this case in April last year, the state government had approached the city sessions court seeking its cancellation.
In its plea, the state government had claimed that Patel had violated a bail condition by entering Ramol area.
The court is expected to give its verdict on the government's plea on Monday.
Meanwhile, in another development, Patel, along with another quota leader Lalji Patel and A K Patel, today appeared before a Visnagar court in Mehsana and submitted a High Court order suspending their two-year jail term in a riot case lodged there in 2015.