The bandh call given by the agitating Patidars over reservation issue has found little response in Gujarat, except in some pockets dominated by the Patels where the Jail Bharo call turned violent, on 18 April.
Meanwhile, according to latest media reports, the Gujarat government may hold talks with the community leaders to end the agitation.
During the bandh, one Bhavin Mansukh Khunt , 27, of Surat, allegedly committed suicide by poisoning himself, to support the Patel agitation for quota, said ANI.
Schools, colleges, public transport and trains have remained unaffected despite the bandh. As a precautionary measure, mobile and Internet services were banned in cities such as Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Mehasana and this will continue till 18 April midnight. A police notification stated the reason for blocking Internet was during last August’s violent incidents, mass messages were sent via the Internet to circulate passions.
The curfew imposed in Mehsana town was lifted on 18 April, Sardinia Patel Group gave the bandh call after 17 April’s violence in Mehsana town. Curfew was clamped after the agitators burnt down indulged in arson and burnt down two buildings.
“We lifted the curfew at 6 am as the situation was under control on 18 April. No untoward incidents were reported during the bandh. Mobile and Internet services will remain closed for some more hours,” said Mehsana district collector Lochan Sehra.
Meanwhile, the Mehsana police lodged an FIR against Sardar Patel Group (SPG) president Lalji Patel and other agitators for rioting, damaging public property, loot, defying police orders and arson. Nobody has been arrested so far.
Around 161 companies of Central Reserve Police Force and SRP have been deployed across the troubled areas. Chief minister Ananadiben Patel. Union home minister Rajnath Singh called up the Gujarat CM who apprised him of the situation.