The Hush Post: Patidar leader from Gujarat Hardik Patel has been sent to jail for two years. Hardik was found guilty by the Visnagar Court in Gujarat on Wednesday in a case of ransacking of the office of BJP legislator Rushikesh Patel during the 2015 Patidar protests. A fine of Rs 50,000 has also been imposed on him.
Along with Hardik, Sardar Parel Group (SPG) convener Lalji Patel and another Patidar leader Ambalal Patel have also been found guilty and have been sentenced to two years in jail each with a fine of Rs 50,000.
Hardik’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has been seeking reservation in government jobs and education for the Patel community under Other Backward Classes in Gujarat. Hardik Patel was in the news in the last Assembly elections in Gujarat along with Independent legislator Jignesh Mevani when they sided with the Congress to retake Gujarat from the BJP.
What triggered Hardik into seeking reservation for Patidars was an incident when Patel’s sister Monica had failed to qualify for a state government scholarship in 2015. He was agitated over the fact that Monica’s friend qualified for the same scholarship through the OBC (Other Backward Class) quota even though she had scored lower marks.
Then, Patel formed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which claims itself to be an apolitical organisation that aims to get Patidars included in the OBC quota. The protests in 2015 spearheaded by Hardik had taken the nation by storm when the protests had taken a violent turn. Two sedition cases were lodged in Surat and Ahmedabad accusing Hardik of inciting violence.