Vandalism case: Arrest warrant against Hardik Patel

Mehsana (Guj), Oct 25 (PTI) A court in Visnagar today issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel after he failed to appear before it for the second consecutive time in a case of vandalising the office of a BJP MLA during the quota stir in 2015.

The warrant was issued against Hardik Patel, convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), and six others including Sardar Parel Group (SPG) convener Lalji Patel by Visnagar sessions court judge V P Agarwal.

Hardik Patel and others are accused of ransacking the office of Visnagar MLA Rishikesh Patel during the protest rally of Patidar community in July 2015.

Hardik Patel and others had in the past secured bail in the case.

The quota leader, through his lawyer Rajendra Patel, today moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance citing his busy schedule. However, the court rejected his plea.

While the PAAS convener failed to appear before the court for second time, including today, Lalji Patel and others remained absent for the first time.

The same court had earlier rejected Hardik Patel’s plea seeking entry into Mehsana district, the epicentre of the quota stir. The young leader had requested the court to allow him to enter the district by relaxing the bail conditions prescribed by the Gujarat High Court.

The Patidar community under Hardik Patel has been agitating for reservation in government jobs and education.

The quota spearhead has been criticising the ruling BJP for not accepting the demands of the community. Of late, he has intensified his attack against the BJP as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi in run-up to the Gujarat polls, scheduled to be held in two phases in December.

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