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Bandh call by Patels gets poor response

Bandh call by Patels gets poor response
The state-wide bandh call given by the Patel community in Gujarat over the quota issue had a little impact on Monday, except in for some areas dominated by the community in state.

The curfew imposed in Mehasana town on Sunday was lifted this morning. The bandh call given by the Sardar Patel Group in Mehasana largely remained incident-free on Monday, police said.

The police had made elaborate security arrangements in view of the bandh call, but schools and colleges, public transport and trains remained unaffected. Also, mobile and Internet services were banned in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Mehasana. The restriction will continue till Monday midnight.

The bandh call given by the Patel agitators had little impact in major cities such as Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot.

Even in Mehsana, where community members had on Sunday clashed with the police, the bandh call evoked partial response as only areas dominated by Patel population remained closed.

“We lifted the curfew at 6 am as the situation was under control. No untoward incident has been during the bandh call. Mobile Internet services will remain closed in the city till midnight today,” said Mehsana District Collector Lochan Sehra.

The  Mehsana police have lodged an FIR against Sardar Patel Group (SPG) president Lalji Patel and 36 others under various sections of IPC, including loot and rioting after Sunday’s violence. “We have lodged an FIR against Patel and 36 other agitators for rioting, loot, arson, damaging public property and defying orders of police. No arrests are made yet,” said a police official.

In Ahmedabad, life remained normal, except in some Patel-dominated localities. In Surat, too, the  bandh had no impact as almost all areas remained open, while in Rajkot, some Patel-dominated areas were closed but other parts of the city were unaffected.

Meanwhile, a 27-year-old man from Surat reportedly committed suicide on Monday amid the raging Patidar agitation. Bhavin Mansukh Khunt allegedly consumed poison “as a mark of protest,” a day after quota protests by the Patel community turned violent.
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