Rajkot, Oct 17: The Rajkot administration tonight banned mobile internet services in the district, ahead of the India-South Africa cricket ODI to be played tomorrow, after Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel threatened to stage a protest at the cricket stadium during the match. "We have decided to ban mobile internet service from 10 PM tonight to 8 AM on October 19," District Collector Manisha Chandra said.
"The ban has been imposed to maintain peace, stop spread of rumours and for smooth conduct of the international cricket match", she said. The third ODI of the five match series will be played at SCA stadium in Khandheri village on the outskirts of the city.
The ban comes a day after Hardik had threatened that his community members would block the way of Indian and South African cricket teams to Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium and not let them enter the venue if he and his supporters are not allowed to go inside to stage an agitation.
The 22-year-old leader today said they have got tickets for the match and will go to the stadium. His aide Dinesh Patel said PAAS conveners of Saurashtra region and other associates will go to watch the match and if they are stopped, the state government will have to face the wrath of the Patel community.
Hardik has also urged the Patel community members to remain present in large numbers during the match to raise their demand for reservation under OBC quota for which they have been agitating over the last two months. The Rajkot stadium has been fortified and the city secured with large deployment of police and State Reserve Police personnel to ensure smooth conduct of the ODI.