Held For ‘Evading’ Trial, Hardik Patel Sent to Custody Till 24 Jan
Congress leader Hardik Patel, who was arrested late on Saturday, 18 January, from Viramgam taluka in Gujarat's Ahmedabad district for failing to appear before a trial court in Ahmedabad in a 2015 sedition case, has been sent to judicial custody till 24 January.
"We have arrested Haridk Patel from near Viramgam after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him. We will produce him before the court tomorrow," said DCP Rajdeepsinh Zala said.
Patel had been previously arrested in connection with a sedition case filed by the local Crime Branch after violence broke out during a rally by the Patel community in Ahmedabad on 25 August 2015.
The quota leader was granted bail in July 2016, and the court had, in November 2018, framed charges against him and other accused in the case.
'BJP Repeatedly Harassing Patel'
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Sunday, accused the BJP of repeatedly harassing party leader Patel.
"Hardik voiced the concerns of the people of his society, sought jobs for them, sought scholarships, carried out farmers' movement. BJP is calling this 'treason'," said Priyanka.
Priyanka Should Know Legalities, Says Guj Dy CM
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Sunday said that Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should have a “legal understanding” that Patel has been arrested as per a court's order.
Gujarat’s deputy chief minister told reporters, “Priyankaben should have this legal understanding that Hardik’s arrest has been as per the court order. An accused is required to remain present before the court during trial. And if the accused remains repeatedly absent from the court without its permission, then the court can issue a warrant to arrest the accused” he said.
He added, “The entire process is legal and the state government, police department do not have any role to play.”
The prosecution told the court that the accused intended to delay the trial by seeking regular exemption from appearance.
The court also observed that Patel, who has to be cross-examined in the case, was flouting bail conditions by not remaining present regularly with the intention to delay trial.
Patel had joined the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
(With inputs from PTI)