Sedition case against Hardik committed to sessions court
Ahmedabad : A sedition case here against Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and three of his aides was today committed to the city sessions court by Metropolitan Magistrate S M Kanabar.
The city sessions court will now initiate the procedure to frame charges against Hardik and his three aides – Chirag Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya and Ketan Patel – as the crime branch had filed a charge sheet against them here last month.
Hardik is currently lodged in Surat Jail (in connection with another sedition case there), while the three others are lodged in Sabarmati Jail here.
All of them were produced before the Metropolitan Court today.
The copies of charge sheet were handed over to their lawyers during an earlier hearing.
After their production today, Hardik, who was brought here yesterday, was taken back to Surat while the three others were sent to Sabarmati Jail.
Several supporters of Hardik gathered outside the court during the hearing and raised slogans demanding immediate release of the 22-year-old Patel quota agitation spearhead and other jailed leaders.
Hardik and his aides are facing charges under IPC sections 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) in the case filed against them by Ahmedabad crime branch in October last year.
The police had in their charge sheet termed the quota agitation spearheaded by Patel as a “pre-planned conspiracy” that was hatched to put pressure on the state government to accept their “unconstitutional demand of quota.”
On January 18, the city crime branch had filed a charge sheet, running into around 2,700 pages, against Hardik and the three others in the Metropolitan Court.
Apart from the main charge sheet, having statements of 502 witnesses, police attached Call Detail Records (CDR), call interception transcripts, CDs containing video and audio clips and forensic reports of mobile phones of the Patel leaders.
As per the charge sheet, Hardik and his aides, all part of agitating body Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), were involved in inciting Patel youths to resort to violence as part of their pre-planned conspiracy, to put undue pressure on government to accept their demand to give reservation to their community under OBC category.
Despite knowing the fact that it is not possible for government to accept this demands, Hardik and others deliberately indulged in activities which are subject to sedition and conspiracy to wage war against government, the charge sheet said.
When Hardik was briefly detained at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad on August 25 last year after their mega rally, all his close aides deliberately spread misleading messages among his community claiming that Hardik was wrongfully arrested, stated the charge sheet.
Such inflammatory messages and rumours resulted in mass scale riots across Gujarat, which forced police to impose curfew in several parts of the state, as people resorted to stone pelting, arson and damaging public property for almost four days, stated the charge sheet.
Police said that due to such activities of the PAAS leaders, 457 FIRs related to arson, assault and rioting were filed across Gujarat between July 7 and December 3 last year.
As per the charge sheet, property worth around Rs 40 crore was damaged in the violence. The charge sheet alleged that 203 policemen as well as police officers were injured in the violence, while one constable Dilip Rathva died in Surat.