Ahmedabad: In a controversial remark, Hardik Patel, the 22 years old leader of the Patel quota stir, on Saturday advised a youth from the community to rather kill policemen than commit suicide.
"If you have so much courage...Then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide," Hardik said in Surat, speaking to a local youth, Vipul Desai, who had announced that he would commit suicide in support of the agitation.
Hardik visited Desai's house today, accompanied by team of a local news-channel, which aired the conversation later.
Desai told reporters later that Hardik advised him not to take his own life. "He gave me the advice that we are sons of Patels and we should kill two to three policemen rather than thinking of suicide," Desai said.
Sardar Patel Group (SPG) convener Lalji Patel, who was the first to start the agitation for reservation for Patels in OBC quota, distanced himself from Hardik's advice.
"Our agitation is being run in Gandhian way, so we should not talk about killing anybody. That was not a right statement by him. We must not make such statements which can spark off a class conflict in the society," Lalji said.
"He should make sensible statements. As he has been accepted as the leader of the Patel community, such statements can harm our cause," Lalji added.
Later, Hardik denied that he gave such an advice. "I have not given any advice to kill policemen. This is an attempt to misguide the people. If I am seen giving such a statement in any video or audio, then action should be taken against me," he said.
The young leader has been hogging the limelight since the August 25 "mega-rally" of Patels here and the subsequent violence across Gujarat.