Days after protesters belonging to Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) disrupted an event in Surat by throwing plastic chairs, organisers of a function in Jasdan, which was attended by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Sunday tied chairs for the audience together to prevent repeat of any such incident.
The foundation stone laying ceremony of a multi-speciality hospital at Aatkot village in Jasdan taluka — a Patidar-dominated area of Rajkot — was attended by around 25,000 people amid tight security. Suspecting protest, policemen detained 25 Patidars who were trying to enter the venue. At the venue, there were only a limited number of chairs for the audience and most people sat on carpets.
On September 8, protesting Patidars had stormed the venue of a programme organised in Surat by the businessmen-led Patidar Abhivadan Samiti (PAS) to felicitate prominent Patidar BJP leaders and party president Amit Shah as part of the party's run-up to the state elections next year. Shouting “Hardik, Hardik" and “Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar," they disrupted proceedings and also threw chairs out of the venue.
Shah and Rupani, who attended the event on Thursday, were forced to cut short their speeches as ruckus continued. At Jasdan also, Rupani kept his speech short. “I will take special interest in infrastructure development of Jasdan and Vichiya regions like Narendrabhai (Modi)," he said.
“Our government provided electricity for 10 hours instead of eight hours to the farmers of Saurashtra when the monsoon got delayed… Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana, in which financial help up to Rs 2 lakh is provided by the state government, will be crucial in the area of affordable health care to everyone," he said. Following the event, R N Karmatiya, sub-inspector at Jasdan police station, said, “To avoid any unwanted incident, we detained around 25 persons… later they were released."
When asked about the tied chairs, Karmatiya said he was not aware about it. “But, if it was like that, it must have been to avoid Surat-like situation." Reacting sharply to the detention of 25 Patidars, convener of PAAS in Saurashtra Nilesh Arvadia said: “Gujarat is under Hitler rule… Police detained PAAS members and did not allow them to enter the function. They are not filing a case, but also not allowing us to share our views."