Friday, November 6, 2015

Hardik Patel to Stay in Jail For Now, Sedition Probe Will Continue

Hardik Patel, Gujarat's 22-year-old politician may have to remain in jail till January 5 next year, with the Supreme Court ordering today that investigation into sedition charges against him should continue.  

The court has directed the Gujarat government not to file a charge sheet in the case till the next date of hearing, which it fixed for January 5, 2016. The Gujarat government told the court that it will finish its investigation in a month and a half.

The Supreme Court is hearing Mr Patel's plea against the sedition case registered against him by the Gujarat police after he was caught on camera purportedly telling supporters to kill policemen rather than commit suicide in their agitation for reservation for the Patel community.

Mr Patel moved the Supreme Court after the Gujarat High Court ruled that he would be investigated for sedition, rejecting his appeal against the police complaint.

Mr Patel has alleged that his comments at a meeting with a supporter who had threatened to kill himself in Surat were "misinterpreted." He also questioned the authenticity of the video tape, but the Gujarat Police have claimed that they have verified that the tape is not "doctored".

Mr Patel is the young face of a massive agitation by Gujarat's powerful Patel community, which has demanded that either it be included in the list of those sections in the state who benefit from reservation in government jobs and colleges or then quota be scrapped.

He has been in jail since October 19, when he was arrested. He had earlier that day been detained while on his way to protest at a Rajkot stadium where a one-day international cricket match was being played between Indian and South Africa.

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