Ahmedabad crime branch has filed a charge sheet against Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and three of his aides claiming that they deliberately indulged in activities which are subject to be charged under sedition and conspiracy to wage war against government.
The charge sheet, running into around 2,700 pages, was filed in the metropolitan court against Hardik, and his aides Ketan Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya and Chirag Patel.
Hardik’s two other aides – Amrish Patel and Alpesh Kathiriya – whose names were in the main FIR but have not been arrested yet, are shown as ‘absconders’ in the charge sheet.
Hardik and his aides are charged under IPC section 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy).
As the offence is triable in the sessions court, the metropolitan court will transfer the case to it in due course, said city crime branch Assistant Commissioner of Police K N Patel, the complainant in the FIR which was filed on October 21 last year.
The crime branch had submitted one part of the charge sheet on Saturday evening, while some related documents were submitted today, Patel said.
This is the second charge sheet filed against Hardik in the sedition case of Ahmedabad.
Earlier, on January 8, the Surat police had also filed a charge sheet in another sedition case against the 22-year-old firebrand Patel leader in the city.
Police have attached call detail records (CDR), call interception transcripts, CDs containing video and audio clips, forensic reports of mobile phones of Patel leaders, Hardik’s speech at GMDC ground on August 25 last year, and statements of several witnesses in the charge sheet.
They have also included statements of 502 witnesses, including police officials who lodged various complaints across the state, forensic experts, officials of railways, state transport and BRTS, people who witnessed violence and those policemen who witnessed stone-pelting and burning of police stations and police chowkies.
As per the charge sheet, Hardik and his aides, who were part of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), were allegedly involved in inciting Patel community youths to resort to violence as part of their pre-planned conspiracy to put undue pressure on government to accept their demand of reservation to their community under OBC category.
The charge sheet said that when Hardik was briefly detained at GMDC ground on August 25 last year after the mega rally, his five aides deliberately spread misleading messages among their community claiming that he was wrongfully held.
Such inflammatory messages and rumours resulted in mass scale riots across Gujarat, which forced police to impose curfew in several parts of state, as people resorted to stone pelting, arson and damaging public property for almost four days, stated the charge sheet.
The charge sheet also claimed that when police was working towards maintaining peace, Hardik and his aides continued their efforts to bring hatred and disaffection towards government by giving inflammatory statements before media as part of their pre-planed conspiracy to dilute the peaceful atmosphere.
According to the charge sheet, these PAAS leaders later on indulged in spreading false messages of ‘police atrocities’ alleging that police arrested Patel youths in false cases.
They deliberately incited youths to resort to violence against such alleged atrocities, it mentioned.
Citing the CDRs and call interception recordings, the crime branch alleged that PAAS leaders used code words while communicating anything defamatory against rightfully elected representatives of state government and public servants.
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.
Out of the 457 FIRs, 63 were reported in Ahmedabad city alone. The 457 complaints include 10 for damaging railway property, 37 for attacking and damaging offices of political leaders, 152 FIRs of damage to public as well as private property, 110 related to attack on policemen and police stations, 87 related to rioting, and rest for other offences.
According to the charge sheet, these offences took place due to the inflammatory speeches of Hardik and others.
The charge sheet also gives details about the damage to public and private property during violence. It says that property worth around Rs 40 crore was damaged in violence.Rs 40 crore was damaged in violence.
It also mentioned that property worth Rs 52 lakh of Western Railway was damaged while 105 passenger trains were cancelled, as rioters uprooted rail tracks at several places.Rs 52 lakh of Western Railway was damaged while 105 passenger trains were cancelled, as rioters uprooted rail tracks at several places.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) incurred loss of Rs 4 crore, Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) suffered damages worth Rs 3.19 crore, GSRTC incurred loss of Rs 22 crore, as 140 ST buses were set ablaze while 192 were damaged during violence, it said.
Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) incurred loss of Rs 4 crore, Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) suffered damages worth Rs 3.19 crore, GSRTC incurred loss of Rs 22 crore, as 140 ST buses were set ablaze while 192 were damaged during violence, it said.
It further said that 192 police vehicles were either damaged or set ablaze while several police stations and chowkies were also burnt by the mob, resulting in a total loss of Rs 1.85 crore to police department.chowkies were also burnt by the mob, resulting in a total loss of Rs 1.85 crore to police department.
The charge sheet alleged that 203 policemen, including some police officers, were injured in the violence, while one constable Dilip Rathva died in Surat.Dilip Rathva died in Surat.
( Source – PTI )