Court remands Hardik Patel in 7 days police custody

Ahmedabad, Oct 25: An Ahmedabad court on Sunday sent Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel in seven days remand of Crime Branch of city police in connection with an alleged case of sedition and waging war against the State.

Metropolitan Magistrate S J Brahmbhatt passed the order on an application of the probe agency seeking 14 days remand.

Hardik Patel

The 22-year old leader of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) was produced before the magistrate at his residence late last night.

In a marathon hearing that lasted till early this morning, the probe agency said it needed to "know about the persons behind the quota agitation and the source of funding behind it".

Seeking a 14-day remand of Hardik, Crime Branch submitted that custody of the accused is needed to interrogate him to know who all have been supporting their agitation, whether PAAS is a registered organisation and and how he was appointed as its convener.

It also sought the remand to know that who funded the accommodation of people who attended various public rallies of Hardik.

The probe agency said that an investigation will have to be carried out on the aspects of rioting incidents that broke out every time when PAAS leaders were detained by the police in various parts of Gujarat.

As Hardik mentioned in a public rally here on August 25 that their agitation would give a blow to the present state government and will also harm the Centre, a probe is needed on this part to ascertain if he had hatched any conspiracy against the central and state governments, the plea said.

It said the emerging Patel leader had also incited members of his community to resort to violence across the state.

The police plea also stated that the probe agency required to conduct voice spectrography test to verify Hardik's voice in phone calls that were intercepted by Crime Branch wherein he had talks with some persons against the government.

Opposing the remand application, Hardik's advocate B M Mangukia said the probe agency could not give any specific reasons in the FIR to establish the case of sedition and of waging war against the State.

Mangukia also submitted that the city crime branch intercepted the phone calls of Hardik and other PAAS leaders illegally, and hence breached the privacy of his client.

He said Crime Branch started intercepting phone calls in August only as it has been mentioned in transcriptions of phone conversation between Hardik and his aides, while the state's Home Department gave permission (to the intercept calls) on October 3.

Crime Branch had filed a second case of sedition against Hardik and five others on October 21 while charging them under Indian Penal Code sections 121 (waging war against government), 124 (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).

Others who have been charged include -- Chirag Patel, Dinesh Patel, Ketan Patel, Amrish Patel and Alepsh Kathiria.

Three PAAS members -- Dinesh, Ketan and Chirag -- have been arrested in the case.

The first case was filed against the firebrand Patel leader with the Surat Police on October 19 for allegedly advising a Patel youth to kill policemen.


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