Quota stir: Surat police file chargesheet against Hardik Patel in sedition case

Police on Friday filed a chargesheet in a local court against Patel quota spearhead Hardik Patel for sedition and other charges.

Surat: Police on Friday filed a chargesheet in a local court against Patel quota spearhead Hardik Patel for sedition and other charges.

The 370-page chargesheet was submitted before Judicial Magistrate JB Rathod of Surat district court on recent directions of the Supreme Court.

The Gujarat government had contended before the Supreme Court on January 5 that Hardik may secure bail if it is not allowed to file the chargesheet by .

Hardik, 22, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), has been charged with sections 124-A (sedition), 115 (abetment of offence) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of IPC.

The maximum sentence under sedition charge is life imprisonment while the minimum punishment is three years.

Apart from the charge sheet, documents running into over 600 pages, containing call data records (CDR) and other material, were also submitted to the court, said public prosecutor Nayan Sukhadwala.

The case of sedition was filed against Hardik at Amroli police station here in October last year for his allegedly controversial remarks instigating a youth of his community to kill police personnel instead of committing suicide, against the backdrop of the Patel quota agitation.

"If you have so much courage.. .then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide," Hardik had allegedly told one Vipul Desai, who had announced that he would kill himself in support of the agitation.

Patels had held violent protests last year in the state demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutes under OBC quota.

"Apart from the transcript of Hardik's alleged talk with Desai, the charge sheet also carries purported WhatsApp conversations between Hardik and other Patel leaders, wherein he allegedly made derogatory remarks against some state political leaders including Chief Minister Anandiben Patel," said Sukhadwala.

Police have also attached intercepted telephonic conversations of Hardik and others.

"Through these evidences, police tried to prove that Hardik tried to incite youths to resort to violence during agitation," added Sukhadwala.

Surat police had earlier filed an FIR against Hardik also charging him under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) of IPC, but the Gujarat High Court struck down the charge while upholding the sedition charge.

Ahmedabad crime branch had also filed a second separate case of sedition against Hardik and four of his associates.

Hardik is currently lodged at Lajpor jail near here. "The case against Hardik is triable in sessions court.

Hardik will be produced in court on January 11 when he will be served the copy of the charge sheet. The case will later transferred to sessions court for further action," Sukhadwala said.