The first-ever marathon meeting of Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel with 20 key Patidar representatives, including Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti convener Hardik Patel and Sardar Patel Group convener Lalji Patel, remained inconclusive. “The meeting was neither a flop nor successful. The government has accepted our demands and sought 10 days to respond to them to which we have agreed,” said Hardik after the five-hour meet. In the meeting with the CM, Hardik demanded action for police that alleged atrocities and release of some Patidar members.
“We have decided to rename our reverse Dandi Yatra as Ekta Yatra and it will start from September 19. We will also organize public meetings in five big cities of the state,” he said. He said he had put forth some demands and the state government has been given 10 days to take decisions on the issues raised by us during the meeting.
“Our main demands include suspension of police officers who were involved in atrocities on community members at GMDC ground on August 25 and registration of murder cases against police inspectors and sub-inspectors in whose areas Patel youths were killed following the violence,” he said.
“We have also demanded that all those arrested for the violence (after August 25 rally and in its aftermath) should be released and no further arrests should take place. We have also asked the state government to offer free treatment to all those who were injured during the violence,” Patel said.
“The government sought some time saying they have to examine what can be done as most cases are in courts now,” Hardik said.
When asked if the reservation issue was discussed, Hardik said it came up, but Patel leaders told the government that it first needed to deal with the issue of police excesses.
The Gujarat government said it had told the Patel leaders that they must follow “set procedure” to pursue their demand of reservations.