Rajnath Singh speaks to Gujarat CM as Patel protest turns violent, curfew imposed in Mehsana
Rajnath Singh spoke to Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel hours after pro-reservation Patidars (Patels) turned violent in Gujarat's Mehsana town.
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday spoke to Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel hours after pro-reservation Patidars (Patels) turned violent in Gujarat's Mehsana town, leading to arson and clashes with police.
Singh took to micro-blogging website Twitter to confirm the news.
Spoke to J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti ji regarding the situation in the state. The Centre is providing all possible assistance to the state govt.
— Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) April 16, 2016
During the telephonic talk, the Home Minister took stock of the situation.
Gujarat Chief Minister apprised the Home Minister on the prevailing situation in the state post the reports of clashes and curfew was imposed in Mehsana which is also the home district of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ANI reported.
Patel also informed Singh about the steps being taken by the state government to control the situation and maintain peace.
Furthermore, authorities suspended internet service in Mehsana after the violence and police and paramilitary forces were deployed in all north Gujarat towns, besides Ahmedabad and Surat, which are known strongholds of the pro-quota Patels.
More than 1,000 agitators from the Patel community in Mehsana and over 500 in Surat were taken into preventive custody as large crowds gathered near the district jails in both places in defiance of prohibitory orders.
Police burst over two dozen teargas shells and used water cannons to disperse the crowds.
Sardar Patel Group (SPG) convener Lalji Patel sustained head injuries as his supporters pelted policemen with stones.
People injured in today's police action will file FIR against Police: Lalji Patel on Patidar community protest pic.twitter.com/1EjzjnR3ep
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 17, 2016
Patel along with his supporters was also taken into preventive custody.
A godown of Food Corporation of India and a district office were set on fire, police said, adding 15 persons have been detained in this connection.
Five policemen and two officials sustained injuries in the incidents, police said while agitators claimed that 25 of their supporters were injured in police action.
Patel protesters had gathered at Modhera crossroad as part of the 'Jail Bharo' agitation announced by the Sardar Patel Group (SPG).
The SPG has given a call for a shutdown in Gujarat on Monday in protest against the police action.
The SPG is a pro-quota group like the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti of Hardik Patel, which has been agitating for over eight months for reservation for the Patels in government jobs and educational institutions under the Other Backward Class category.
Sunday's 'jail bharo' programme was in support of the demand for the release of the jailed Patel leaders and withdrawal of cases against them.
The SPG earlier announced its second round of agitation if its demands were not met by April 17.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that some information from Gujarat has come but the Central Government was awaiting for a detail report.