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Quota row: Army called in Ahmedabad; 3 killed in violence

Patidar community's agitation

Ahmedabad: Army was today called in to assist the police and administration as fresh violence rattled the BJP-run state following the agitation for OBC quota for Patel community, leaving at least three persons dead and several others including police officials injured.

Apprehending more trouble, curfew was clamped in parts of Ahmedabad and other major cities across the state today.Apart from Ahmedabad, curfew had been clamped in Surat, Mehsana, Rajkot, Jamnagnar and Patan cities.

“Army has been requisitioned for controlling the situation in Ahmedabad city.  The Army is preparing to move troops out to do a flag march throughout the affected areas,” defence sources said, adding five columns of army comprising about 200 personnel will be deployed to tackle the situation in the city.

Tension mounted in Gujarat in the wake of widespread violence sparked by detention of Hardik Patel who today vowed to intensify the agitation for OBC quota for Patel community.

Sporadic violence broke out during the day-long bandh called by the Patel outfit demanding OBC quota for the community in Gujarat, a day after the mega rally here.

In a televised address in Gujarati, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for calm and emphasised that all issues can be resolved through talks.

“In the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, the way violence has been resorted to as a tool….I appeal to all brothers and sisters of Gujarat that they should not resort to violence. The only ‘Mantra’ must be ‘Shanti’ (peace),” said Modi, who has been Chief Minister of the state for 12 years.

About 5,000 paramilitary personnel were today rushed to Gujarat in the wake of violence.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel this morning and assured her of full central help to tackle the situation.

Hardik blamed police for the violence and said the agitation will intensify in the coming days.

Rejecting suggestions that the protesters started the violence last night, he accused the police of trying to “disrupt” the “movement” at the behest of the political establishment.

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