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PAAS leader Hardik Patel’s discharge application rejected by Ahmedabad court, no relief from sedition charges

A sessions court in Ahmedabad has rejected the discharge plea filed by Hardik Patel. The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader had filed the discharge application seeking relief from the sedition charges against him. He was booked by the Crime Branch on sedition charges after he the large-scale violence in Gujrat in 2015 seeking reservation for Patidars.

Hardik has two cases of sedition against him. One in Surat and the other in Ahmedabad. The Surat case was filed by the Surat police. Hardik had earlier suffered a major setback in that case too when the Gujrat High Court had rejected his plea seeking to quash of the sedition case in Surat. Back in 2015, the Gujrat HC had upheld the cases rejecting his plea. The case was filed after alleged evidence showed him inciting people to kill policemen during the violent Patidar agitation.

In January 2016, The Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) had filed a charge sheet against Hardik Patel. The 2700 page charge sheet had held the entire Patidar agitation illegal and alleged that Hardik and his five other associates created the Patidar agitation and incited violence while being fully aware that the community cannot be listed in the OBC category legally and socially. The charge sheet claimed that their agitation was aimed at dislodging the democratically elected Gujrat state government. The DCB had accused Hardik and his associates of criminal conspiracy and sedition. They had also alleged that properties worth 40 crores were damaged and 203 police personnel had suffered injuries during the violence. A constable named Dilip Rathva had died in Surat during the agitation.

Hardik had moved to the Ahmedabad court in September 2017 seeking discharge from the sedition charges. He had filed an application the court of Judge S H Oza claiming that there is no evidence against him and the case did not hold ground.

The Patidar Andolan in Gujrat had brought the state to a standstill in 2015 as widespread incidents of violence and clashes had caused intense law and order situations. A total of 9 people had died and the Army was deployed to maintain peace. A total of 5000 paramilitary personnel had to be posted in different cities to help control the situation. Then 22-year-old Hardik Patel had made several objectionable remarks in a rally that had turned violent.

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