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Gujarat HC rejects Hardik Patel's anticipatory bail plea

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Ahmedabad, Feb 17: The Gujarat High Court on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Congress leader Hardik Patel in an unlawful assembly case registered in connection with the 2015 Patidar stir for quota for the community in government jobs and educational institutions.

File photo

Justice V M Pancholi rejected Patel's bail application after considering the government's objection on the ground of his criminal antecedents. Opposing the plea, the government told HC there are more than ten criminal cases against Patel, and that he had gone underground fearing arrest.

The case dates back to August 2015 when the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti under Patel had organised a mega rally in Ahmedabad as part of the quota stir, and an FIR was lodged for "unlawful assembly" as the police claimed the event did not have requisite permissions.

Hardik Patel, face of 2015 Patidar quota movement, untraceable since arrest on Jan 18, claims wifeHardik Patel, face of 2015 Patidar quota movement, untraceable since arrest on Jan 18, claims wife

The police further contended that this unlawful gathering led to violence, in which over a dozen youths were killed and property was damaged. In his anticipatory bail plea, Patel claimed he was being "victimised by the ruling party of the state" which has slapped "several false, frivolous and concocted cases against him". He said police was acting under "political pressure" to arrest him.

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