GANDHINAGAR: Hardik Patel, the 24-year-old Patidar leader leading a campaign against the BJP in Gujarat, says he is ready to surrender if the police want to arrest him, but stressed that the turmoil he is carrying on would continue even as he was behind the scenes. bars “I am ready to surrender if the police want to arrest me,” the young leader told NDTV hours after a court issued arrest warrants against him for missing an earlier hearing that day.
Hardik Patel faces several police cases of violence during the turmoil to demand quotas in government jobs and educational institutions for Gutidat Patidar, or the Patel community, in the Mehsana district of northern Gujarat, which was the epicenter of agitation. Mr. Patel is one of 6 activists accused of looting the office of a BJP lawmaker in the town of Visnagar in Mehsana during the protests of 2015.
They were granted bail in the case but were asked to attend court proceedings. When Mr. Patel did not appear in court today, an angry judge issued the arrest warrant. Twice before he did not answer the subpoena and his lawyer has repeatedly pleaded for exemption from personal appearance, which the court has denied.
The same court had previously rejected Hardik Patel’s request to enter the Mehsana district, the epicenter of Patel’s massive uproar two years ago. The young activist had asked the court to allow him to enter the district by relaxing the bail conditions prescribed by the Gujarat High Court.