Shutdown in Gujarat over reservation for Patel community

Ahmedabad, Aug 26 (IANS) A state-wide shutdown was observed in Gujarat on Wednesday, a day after a Patidar mega-rally was held here demanding reservations in education and jobs for the Patel community.

Hardik Patel, 22, convener of Patidaar Arakshan Andolan Samiti (PAAS) was detained and taken into custody by the police after he launched a sudden hunger strike at the GMDC Ground late Tuesday evening.

After being released, Patel appealed to his followers for peace and restraint, and also announced a state-wide shutdown on Wednesday.

Earlier, he had served a 48-hour ultimate to the state government to concede the PAAS demands following which he said agitation would be intensified.

As news of the police action on Patel spread, angry Patidars reacted violently in different parts of the state, attacking public and private properties, buses, vehicles, even as Chief Minister Anandiben Patel appealed for peace.

As per tentative counts, more than 100 buses have been damaged in different cities, while several private cars and motorcycles were set on fire in different parts of the state.

Tuesday’s mammoth mega-rally had over 1.20 million Patidars. It capped a 55-day long agitation across the state with scores of mini-rallies in different towns and cities for the main demands of the Patel community.

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