A day after he was arrested, Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel on Tuesday moved a petition before the Gujarat High Court seeking to set aside the sedition charges filed against him in Surat.
Hardik’s father Bharat Patel moved the plea on behalf of his son through his advocate B M Mangukiya and stated that no offence can be attributed to the Patel leader. “No offence can be disclosed by spoken words of Hardik and no overt act can be attributed to him by those words, thus no offence has been made out,” the plea said.
The plea is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday. A case of sedition was filed against Hardik for his alleged controversial remarks instigating his community youth to kill cops instead of committing suicide. Hardik, who was detained by Rajkot rural police ahead of the India-South Africa One-Day International on Sunday as he had threatened to disrupt the match, was arrested on Monday by the Rajkot rural police for allegedly insulting the national flag. Just after he was granted bail Monday evening by a local court in the flag case, Surat police had arrested him in the sedition complaint which was filed in that city.
Surat city DCP Makrand Chauhan had filed a complaint against Hardik in Amroli police station for advising a Patel youth to kill policemen. The sedition case was filed under section 124(A) of IPC at Amroli Police Station in Surat under which any accused, if convicted, can be sentenced to maximum of life imprisonment, while the minimum sentence is of three years. The section reads, “whoever, by words, either spoken or written..brings hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the Government shall be punishable with imprisonment for life…or with minimum imprisonment up to three years.”
Other IPC sections included in the FIR against Hardik are section 115 (Abetment of offence), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, 505-2 (incite one community against another) and 506 (criminal intimidation). The 22-year-old emerging Patel leader had on October 3 allegedly advised a Surat-based youth from his community to kill cops rather than ending his life.
“If you have so much courage…then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide,” Hardik had allegedly told the youth Vipul Desai, who had announced that he would commit suicide in support of the agitation. Hardik had visited Desai’s house accompanied by a team of a news channel which had aired the conversation later.
The quota stir leader has been hogging the limelight since the August 25 ‘mega-rally’ of Patels in Ahmedabad and the subsequent violence across Gujarat in which 10 people were killed.
( Source – PTI )