Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel plans to gherao a police station in Surat on Thursday to protest the “inaction” against BJP members over attack on Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) member Vijay Mangukiya during a rally last week. A message, mobilising Patidars for the “gherao” of Puna police station, has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp groups. Taking cognizance of this message, the Surat crime branch Wednesday booked an offence under section 153 of IPC for spreading provocative messages to create disturbances.
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Hardik is scheduled to visit Surat on Thursday “to inaugurate an ice-cream shop”. Hardik will inaugurate an ice-cream parlour and cakes shop on Singhanpore crossroads in Katargam area at 9.30 am. Tarunesh Ranpariya, a Patidar, who owns the parlour, also extended invitations to Katargam police inspector P B Sapra.
Hardik will then visit Surat district collectorate and hand over a memorandum that the police had failed to register complaints against those involved in beating Mangukiya recently.
The threat of Hardik’s protest is keeping the city police on its toes. Last week, Hardik had given an ultimatum to Surat police to register an offence against accused BJP members involved in beating Mangukiya. Surat PAAS team started circulating the protest messages through their WhatsApp group, inviting people to gather at Puna police station on Thursday afternoon “to do surgical strike and gherao the police station”. Mangukiya had protested against BJP Yuva morcha state president Rutvij Patel’s vehicle rally in Surat last week.
He was beaten up by BJP members in Varachha area. The Surat city police had registered FIR against 19 people of Surat PAAS, including victim Mangukiya, for their alleged involvement in spreading disturbances at the BJP rally in Varachha. Police had arrested all the 18 members and later arrested Vijay Mangukiya, after he was discharged from the hospital a couple of days ago. All the arrested ones are now out on bail.
Mangukiya had approached Puna police station and handed over an application to register a case against BJP members who thrashed him. Police had registered non-cognisable offence in this connection. Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said, “We are ready to deal with any uncertain incident and will see that law and order situation does not get disturbed. If they are going to protest peacefully, we will allow them. On the NC complaint of Mangukiya, today we sought the permission from the Surat district court to arrest two persons, identified as Kanti Sambadiya and Ashok Hadia, both residents of Surat.”
On Wednesday, Sharma called a meeting of all police inspectors, assistant commissioner of police and deputy commissioners and joint police commissioner and discussed the law and order situation. Surat police said that now they will check the videos of the assault on Mangukiya, identify the accused and investigate the case. Surat PAAS co-convenor Dharmik Malaviya said, “We applied for the permission of Patidar gathering outside the police station two days ago. The police had rejected our application. We will gather outside the police station and gherao.”