Ahmedabad: The mobile internet ban, in force since yesterday in the wake of sporadic violence following the arrest of Patel reservation stir leader Hardik Patel, was lifted on Sunday across Gujarat as the situation stayed peaceful, but continued in Mehsana district, considered the hotbed of the agitation.
After the Director General of Police PC Thakur instructed the heads of police in various cities and districts to take a call on withdrawing the curb depending upon the situation, the ban was gradually lifted in Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Vadodara, Surat and Ahmedabad cities in afternoon.
"I have asked the heads of police across Gujarat to take a call on lifting the ban (on mobile internet) if they find it suitable as per the law and order situation in their areas," Thakur had said.
Control room officials in Junagadh, Amreli, Morbi, Anand, Patan and Mahisagar districts announced the lifting of the curb.
In Ahmedabad, Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha announced in a public notification in the afternoon that the restriction was being removed.
"Looking at the current situation in the city, the ban on mobile internet is no longer deemed necessary. Thus I order to lift the ban, effective from 4 PM," stated the notification.
The ban was enforced in the morning yesterday when Surat police arrested Hardik Patel, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), for trying to take out an 'Ekta Yatra' without permission.
However, any decision on withdrawing the ban in Mehsana district, where a large Patel population is concentrated and which is considered the hotbed of the quota agitation, will be taken by police after reviewing the situation tomorrow afternoon.
"We have decided to continue the ban (in Mehsana district) till tomorrow. We will take a decision after holding a review meeting tomorrow afternoon," said Mehsana Superintendent of Police, JR Mothalia.
Yesterday, a large number of Patel community members came out on the roads near Modhera crossroads of Mehsana town and clashed with police after Hardik's arrest. However, the situation there remained calm today.
Hardik was arrested while trying to take out an 'Ekta Yatra' from Surat. The police's move led to violent protests in Mehsana, Surat and the Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad, where angry mobs engaged in stone-pelting and clashed with police.
However, the violent protests did not spread further and were checked immediately by police.