Sunday December 16, 2018
Home India Protests rock...

Protests rock Gujarat as Hardik Patel arrested, bailed out

0
//
Republish
Reprint
source: economic times
source: economic times

Surat (Gujarat): Gujarat was rocked by protests in many of its cities and towns, leading to police caning and using tear gas on crowds opposing the detention and subsequent arrest of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel, here, on Saturday. He was later released on bail.

Hardik Patel, along with another 35 PAAS city conveners, were detained and placed under arrest under Indian Penal Code section 188, for flouting government orders and taking out a rally.

Late on Saturday night, they were produced before a magistrate and released on bail shortly before midnight.

Earlier, the day was marked with protests, road blocks, highway blockage with thousands of women supporters and youth taking to the streets in Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Navsari, Mehsana, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Botad and other towns and villages.

In Surat and Ahmedabad, mobs pelted stones and damaged some public buses, a police van and other vehicles, compelling the. security forces to fire at least four tear gas shells to disperse the crowds

Crowds of villagers in Botad were caned when they attempted to block the state and national highways passing through the district.

Police have deployed heavy security in all major cities and towns and attempted to prevent any gathering of people with prohibitory orders.

As a precautionary measure, the Gujarat authorities have suspended 2G and 3G mobile internet services in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, for periods ranging from 24 hours — till Sunday afternoon — to one week, subject to improvement in the situation.

source: anandiben patel
source: anandiben patel

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel was closeted in a meeting with cabinet colleagues and top officials to take stock of the situation and appealed to the people to maintain peace.

The day’s developments came after the preventive detention of Hardik Patel, 22, and around 50 supporters when they attempted to launch an ‘Ekta Rally’ in Surat in the morning.

The rally, which police declared as “unauthorised”, was to press for the caste-based reservations for the Patel community spearheaded by PAAS.

While Hardik Patel and some 20 others were detained at Mangad Chowk, another supporting group led by Nikhil Patel and others was detained in Hirabagh locality.

Shortly after the detentions, Hardik Patel accused police of harassing the Patidars even though they wanted to take out a peaceful rally. He also alleged that the Gujarat government was “harassing everybody”.

“The Gujarat government is provoking violence. Though ours is a peaceful agitation, we request the people of the state for support. We are not against any community, but just fighting to get reservations for our community,” Hardik Patel said earlier in the day.

PAAS termed the detentions “illegal and bulldozing of democracy by the Gujarat government” which was acting at the Centre’s behest.

An opposing group, the OBC Ekta Manch, threatened to take out a ‘Pratikar Rally’ protesting against the reservations sought by the Patidars.

However, the city administration refused permission to the OBC Ekta Manch to hold its rally, apprehending a potential law and order situation.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Muslims in Malaysia Rally In Kuala Lumpur To Keep Status

Mahathir’s new government won a stunning victory in a May 9 general election amid anger over a massive corruption scandal.

0
Malaysia, Malay
Protesters rally near a mosque to celebrate the government's decision not to ratify a U.N. anti-discrimination convention, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dec. 8, 2018. Thousands of Malaysian Muslims are rallying against any attempt to strip ethnic Malay majority of their privileges. VOA

Tens of thousands of Malaysian Muslims rallied Saturday in Kuala Lumpur against any attempt to strip the ethnic Malay majority of its privileges, in the first massive street gathering since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s alliance won a historic vote in May.

The rally, backed by the country’s two largest opposition Malay parties, was initially aimed at protesting a government plan to ratify a U.N. treaty against racial discrimination. Critics allege that ratifying the treaty would end Malay privileges under a decades-old affirmative action policy. The plan to ratify was eventually abandoned, but organizers decided to proceed with what they called a “thanksgiving” rally.

Rare racial clashes

Racial clashes have been rare in multiracial Malaysia since deadly riots in 1969. A year later, Malaysia instituted a preferential program that gives Malays privileges in jobs, education, contracts and housing to help narrow a wealth gap with the minority Chinese. Ethnic Malays account for nearly two-thirds of the country’s 32 million people, with large Chinese and Indian minorities.

Malaysia, Malay
A protester covers his face with headbands reading “No to ICERD” during a rally to celebrate the government’s decision not to ratify a U.N. anti-discrimination convention called ICERD at Independent Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dec. 8, 2018. ICERD stands for International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. VOA

Saturday’s rally came less than two weeks after more than 80 people were arrested in a riot at an Indian temple in a suburb outside Kuala Lumpur. The government was quick to stress that the violence was the result of a land dispute and was not a racial riot. Still, the government warned Saturday’s rally-goers not to make any provocative statements that could fan racial tensions.

Mahathir said the government allowed the rally as part of democracy, but warned against any chaos. The rally was held under tight police security, but ended peacefully after rain started to fall.

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been charged with multiple counts of corruption, was among opposition lawmakers at the rally.

In the streets, 55,000

Police said there were at least 55,000 people on the streets. Many wore white T-shirts and headbands with the words “Reject ICERD,” referring to the U.N. treaty, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The protesters gathered at three locations before marching to a nearby historic square, chanting “Long live the Malays” and “Crush ICERD.”

malay
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, right gestures to Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, to move in closer for the group hand shake as Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, left, watches during the opening ceremony of the 28th and 29th ASEAN summits at National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. VOA

“Yes, we did not ratify ICERD, but we are still here to say that we are still against it,” said shopkeeper Rosli Ikhsan. “Even if the government has said they won’t endorse it, we are still protesting with all our might from all of Malaysia.”

Mahathir’s new government won a stunning victory in a May 9 general election amid anger over a massive corruption scandal involving Najib and his government, but many Malays still support Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organization, and the Malaysian Islamic Party, which controls two of the country’s 13 states.

Some analysts say Najib and his party were using the rally to shift attention away from corruption charges against Najib, his wife, his party’s president and former government officials.

Also Read: Syrian Stranded at Malaysia Airport in a Political Limbo

“For me, ICERD is bad,” university student Nurul Qamariah said at the rally. “It’s bad because it will erode the position of Malays. This is a country for Malays. We want Malays to be superiors, but why do these people want to make Malays the same level as Chinese and Indians?” (VOA)