Ahmedabad, Jan 18 : Congress leader Hardik Patel was arrested on Saturday after a local court here issued non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him in a sedition case lodged by the crime branch of Ahmedabad police for the widespread violence that erupted after his Patidar quota rally here on the GMDC ground on August 25, 2015. Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajdipsinh Zala said that Hardik was arrested from near Hansalpur crossing in his home-taluka of Viramgam in Ahmedabad districts.
He has been kept in police custody in crime branch premises where he would spend the night and would be produced at the residence of the judge on Sunday who would take the next course of action. The court of Additional Sessions Judge BJ Ganatra had earlier today issued the NBW against Hardik, the former convener of Patidar Ananamat Aanodlan Samiti (PAAS), the outfit that spearheaded the quota agitation, for his repeated absence during the ongoing hearing of the sedition case.
Government counsel Sudhir Brahmbhatt said that he pleaded that Hardik was granted bail in the case by the Gujarat High Court on the condition that he would cooperate during the trial but he was not appearing before the trial court. He was also not cooperating in the speedy hearing of the case.
He said that the court rejected his plea for exemption from personal appearance and issued NBW and posted January 24 as the next date of the hearing. Brahmbhatt said that with the issuance of the NBW, Hardik could be arrested or his bail could also be cancelled. The court might also give him relief by cancelling the warrant if he surrenders before it.
Notably, two of the other accused of the sensational case Chirag Patel and Dinesh Bambhaniya appeared before the court on Saturday. Hardik was booked in another sedition case in Surat for his alleged provocative suggestion to his aides to kill policemen and he was also on bail in that matter. He was jailed in these cases and had also spent six months outside Gujarat as part of his bail condition. Several government run buses, police stations were torched and other public property including railway tracks damaged during the violence that had erupted after the rally in Ahmedabad. The crime branch of the city police in its charge sheet alleged that Hardik and his aides had spread the violence under a conspiracy. (UNI)