Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, arrested by the city crime branch on the charges of sedition and waging war against the government, today filed a plea in the Gujarat High Court seeking to have the FIR against him quashed.
The petition, filed by his lawyer B M Mangukia, said the First Information Report was vague and was only aimed at suppressing the agitation of the Patel community for reservation in OBC category. His actions did not amount to sedition or waging war against the government, it said. The plea is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.
This is the second FIR against Hardik where he has been accused of sedition (under section 124-A of IPC). Earlier, Surat police had booked him for sedition for allegedly advising a Patel youth to kill policemen rather than committing suicide. His petition seeking to scrap that FIR is already before the High Court. Ahmedabad police’s crime branch filed a fresh FIR for sedition against Hardik and five of his associates after taking his custody from Surat police.
As per the FIR, Hardik and others allegedly incited the people to resort to violence after the Patel community’s massive rally here on August 25. In a related development, the High Court today issued a notice to Gujarat government on petitions of three close aides Hardik’s — Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel and Dinesh Patel — who too have sought to quash the same FIR.
Justice J B Pardiwala issued the notice to the state government and adjourned the hearing to October 29. These three and Hardik are currently in the custody of city crime branch.
( Source – PTI )