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Quota row: Tension eases, curfew relaxed in violence hit Gujarat

Ahmedabad:  Tension persisted today in violence-hit Gujarat which has been rocked by the Patel quota reservation stir even as curfew was lifted from many cities and some parts of Ahmedabad and no major incident reported
quota row tension eases curfew relaxed in...
PTI 29 Aug 2015, 0:52:00 AM IST

Ahmedabad:  Tension persisted today in violence-hit Gujarat which has been rocked by the Patel quota reservation stir even as curfew was lifted from many cities and some parts of Ahmedabad and no major incident reported since yesterday.

22-year-old commerce graduate Hardik Patel, who has galvanised the dominant Patel community in Gujarat on the reservation demand, today threatened to intensify the agitation and decided to rope in Gujjars for support.  

Hardik in an interview to PTI also said his sole objective is the inclusion of Patel community in the OBC category and not the abolition of the quota system while firmly ruling out negotiations on the issue.

The situation in Gujarat, bearing the brunt of the agitation by Patel community seeking reservation under OBC category, is gradually returning to normal, officials claimed.

Barring Gadh village of Banaskantha and six police station areas of Ahmedabad city, curfew has been lifted in most parts of state today.

As per the state control room, curfew has been lifted from Mehsana, Unjha, Visnagar and Kadi town of Mehsana district today.

Curfew was also lifted from Kapodra and Varachha area of Surat as well as Morbi, Rajkot and Jamnagar city of Saurashtra region.

Restrictions were withdrawn from Patan town as well as Palanpur town of Banaskantha. However, curfew was still in effect at Gadh village of Banaskantha, where three persons had died in police firing on August 26.

Apart from Gadh, six police station areas of Ahmedabad city are still kept under curfew are Ramol, Nikol, Bapunagar, Odhav, Naroda and Krishnanagar areas.  

"Curfew has been lifted in Naranpura, Ghatlodia and Vadaj police stations areas of Ahmedabad today," police said.  

Ahmedabad District Collector Rajkumar Beniwal said the Army continued flag march on roads in some city areas today.  

"Army's flag march continued today in sensitive areas where violence was reported," Beniwal said.  

"We do not want reservation system to be abolished as it is being talked. We just want OBC quota for Patels," Hardik said when asked about reports quoting him as saying that if Patels are not included the OBC category there should be total removal of the reservation system.

Congress on the second day today tried to raise the issue of Patel quota violence in the Assembly.

Three Congress MLAs were suspended by the Gujarat Assembly speaker while others walked out in protest from the House for shouting slogans against senior minister Nitin Patel, who had alleged that opposition party was responsible for the recent violence in the state.

Yesterday, 54 Congress MLAs were suspended for the day when they raised slogans over the quota stir.  

According to ADGP (Law and Order), P P Pandey, as many as 95 FIRs have been registered in the state including around 40 FIRs in Ahmedabad in connection with violence in which 10 people were killed.

According to a senior police official, 21 persons in Ahmedabad district, 22 in Sabarkantha and 53 in Rajkot have been arrested in the last three days.

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