The Gujarat High Court on Friday reserved its verdict for Tuesday on a petition seeking to quash sedition proceedings against Patel community leader Hardik Patel for his allegedly inflammatory remarks against the police.
A Surat court had earlier remanded him in police custody till Friday evening.
The petition was filed by his father Bharat Patel, a BJP worker in Ahmedabad, challenging Patel’s arrest on 19 October on sedition charges for exhorting youngsters from his community to kill a policeman or two instead of thinking of committing suicide.
Hardik Patel had on 3 October advised Vipul Desai in Surat, “If you have so much courage, go and kill a policeman or two instead of committing suicide. Patels never commit suicide.”
While visiting Desai, Hardik Patel had taken along a reporter of a local TV channel. Once the channel aired his remarks, it was uploaded on the social network, sparking off a controversy.
Hardik Patel was slapped with a sedition charge for this. This was contested by his advocate B.M. Mangukia in the Gujarat High Court.
While putting off the hearing till Friday, the high court had on Wednesday sought the state government’s explanation as to how did this tantamount to sedition.
According to sources in Surat, the local police might seek further remand for Hardik Patel on Friday evening.
But even if the Surat metropolitan court rejects further remand for him, Hardik Patel might not walk free as yet as another sedition case has been filed against him in Ahmedabad.
The Ahmedabad Crime Branch police are likely to arrest him again in the city on a transfer warrant from Surat.
Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch police produced three close aides of Hardik Patel before a court on Thursday evening on charges of sedition and conspiracy to overthrow a duly elected government.
The three — Chirag Patel, Dinesh Bamania and Ketan Patel — are among the six who face these charges in Ahmedabad, the other being Hardik Patel.
Alpesh Kathiria from Surat and Amrish Patel from Ahmedabad are on the run.
Chirag Patel and Dinesh Bamania were whisked away in a dramatic fashion from outside the Gujarat High Court on the same day Hardik Patel’s father challenged the charges on him on Monday.
Ketan Patel was later picked up from Waghai in south Gujarat. All three were remanded to police custody till 3.30 p.m. on 29 October.