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Hardik Patel traced hours after declared missing by Police, claims he was abducted

Ahmedabad: Hours after Gujarat Police declared Hardik Patel missing, he surfaced under mysterious circumstances at a highway passing from Dhrangadhra town in Surendranagar district of Gujarat, claiming that he was abducted.In a post-midnight development, Gujarat
India TV News Desk September 23, 2015 17:47 IST
India TV News Desk

Ahmedabad: Hours after Gujarat Police declared Hardik Patel missing, he surfaced under mysterious circumstances at a highway passing from Dhrangadhra town in Surendranagar district of Gujarat, claiming that he was abducted.

In a post-midnight development, Gujarat High Court had directed the state government to find Hardik Patel and produce him before the court by Thursday.

Hardik's lawyer BM Mangukiya said that his client has informed him of his whereabouts by SMS. Mangukiya added that he was on his way to meet Hardik Patel in Halwad, a town about 155 km from capital Ahmedabad.

Read Also: Gujarat High Court issues notice to Govt, seeking Hardik Patel's Whereabouts

While talking to reporters, Hardik claimed that he had been "abducted" by people with weapons.

"Some persons chased my car near Bayad (in Aravalli district)... then I was picked up by some persons.. after that I was made to sit in a car for the entire night," Hardik told reporters.

"I was threatened to leave this agitation or I would be eliminated. The person threatened me saying that it is the first and last warning, and if I am ever seen addressing a public meeting in a village, I will be eliminated," he added.

"After threatening me for entire night and ferrying me from Bayad, he left me at a village in Dhrangdhara taluka of Surendranagar," said Hardik.

"I do not know who was he, whether a policeman or anyone else but he had a revolver with him," Hardik claimed.

"I wanted to know about the person and at whose behest he had kept me under his custody for the entire night," he said. When asked about his present location, he said he is at Halvad highway in Surendranagar district.

Also Read: Patel quota row: Hardik Patel holds meeting, goes missing to evade detention

Hardik's lawyer Mangukiya had moved to HC and filed a habeas corpus petition alleging that Hardik had been illegally detained by police after which the court ordered the government to find Patel agitation leader.

Police had earlier claimed that Hardik had given them a slip when they went to detain him after he organised a public meeting allegedly without prior permission in Aravali district.

In a rare move, a division comprising justices MR Shah and K J Thaker heard the petition at 1.20 AM with Hardik's aide Dinesh Patel seeking court's intervention to direct authorities to produce Hardik.

The court issued notice to the Gujarat government, Director General of Police, Range Inspector General and Arvali District Superintendent of Police directing them to file reply tomorrow.

Hardik had on Monday organised a public meeting in Bayad taluka of Aravali district allegedly without prior permission. After the meeting, police tried to detain him but according to IG Hasmukh Patel he managed to evade them.

Police later registered an FIR against Hardik and 20 others for violating prohibitory orders. Hardik is leading an agitation for inclusion of Patel community in OBC category for reservation.

In a rare move, a division comprising justices MR Shah and K J Thaker heard the petition at 1.20 AM with Hardik's aide Dinesh Patel seeking court's intervention to direct authorities to produce Hardik.

The court issued notice to the Gujarat government, Director General of Police, Range Inspector General and Arvali District Superintendent of Police directing them to file reply tomorrow.

Public prosecutor Mitesh Amin said Hardik is not in police custody. However, the high court asked the state government to find Hardik saying "he is a citizen of the country".

The hearing conducted at the residence of one of the two judges concluded 2.40 AM. The petitioner submitted that he was with Hardik when the police tried to detain the 22-year-old leader.

He alleged that Hardik must have been in police custody. Mangukiya who appeared for Patel had earlier moved the plea before the registrar general after obtaining permission from acting chief justice Jayant Patel for conducting special hearing early this morning.

Hardik had on Monday organised a public meeting in Bayad taluka of Aravali district allegedly without prior permission. After the meeting, police tried to detain him but according to IG Hasmukh Patel he managed to evade them.

Police later registered an FIR against Hardik and 20 others for violating prohibitory orders. Hardik is leading an agitation for inclusion of Patel community in OBC category for reservation.