Quota row: Violence during bandh in Guj, curfew in many parts

Ahmedabad, Aug 26: Fresh violence broke out during a day-long bandh today over the demand for OBC quota for Patels in Gujarat even as curfew was clamped in parts of Ahmedabad, Surat and Mehsana districts and thousands of paramilitray and anti-riot personnel were deployed to control the situation.

Tension prevailed in major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and in North Gujarat region, a day after violence erupted following detention of Hardik Patel, who is spearheading the agitation for inclusion of Patels in OBC category for reservation.


Normal life was paralysed as schools, colleges, business establishments including banks and public transport remained closed today in most places in view of the bandh call by Patel after his brief detention yesterday when he was protesting for quota at the GMDC ground here without prior permission. Incidents of arson and stone-pelting were reported in many parts of Surat city today, when Patel community members came out in large numbers to "enforce" the bandh.

A mob of around 1,000 people burnt two warehouses of Surat Municipal Corporation in Udhna area of the city. Bikes, buses and vehicles were burnt at many places in the city, Suart control room police officials said. The diamond and textile industries of Surat remained closed.

The Centre has rushed about 5,000 personnel of Rapid Action Force, CRPF and BSF to assist the local administration in maintaining law and order. "Extra state reserve police force (SRP) companies have been deployed in the city to bring the situation under control, while we have also sought deployment of central forces. They will be deployed as and when their companies arrive here," Surat Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said.

A Police Sub-Inspector, identified as Mitesh Salunke, was severely injure, when a mob pelted stones in Lalgate area of the city during the violence last night. In Saurashtra region, there was total bandh in major cities and towns of Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Porbandar.

Incidents of sporadic violence were reported in all the four districts during the bandh today, police said. Rajkot Superintendent of Police (Rural) Gagandeep Gambhir was injured in stone-throwing near Upleta road area, said a police official.


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