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Gujarat:Hardik Patel, (22), leader of the Patel agitation that kept Gujarat on edge for the last two months, surfaced under mysterious circumstances on Wednesday, claiming that the police had “abducted” him and he was kept in “secret detention.” But the government denied the charge and said Mr. Patel “would be arrested.”“He violated the law and tried to create a law and order situation in the State,” said Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel, stressing that the government “would firmly deal with those trying to disturb peace.” Meanwhile, Mr. Patel claimed he was “threatened to stop the agitation or face the consequences.”He is likely to be produced before the High Court on Thursday in connection with a habeas corpus petition filed after he went “missing” from a village in north Gujarat when the police went there to arrest him for holding a public meeting without permission.The plea moved by lawyer B.M. Mangukia was heard at the residence of Justice Shah at 2.30 a.m. on Wednesday. The court directed the police to find and produce Mr. Patel before it by Thursday.The police started a crackdown on Tuesday night, arresting over a dozen key aides of Mr. Patel. On Wednesday, Nilesh Patel, linked to the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) that launched the agitation in early July, was arrested and slapped with the charge of sedition for “indecent language against the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and the BJP president.”According to the police, Mr. Nilesh Patel, who has been arrested for cyber crime too, sent messages on social media with a view to ‘inciting violence and creating enmity between communities.’The police have also booked 39 persons associated with OBC Ekta Manch, a counter-agitation launched by the OBC communities, for holding public meetings in north Gujarat. “The government is shaken by the mass support our agitation has drawn and therefore want to crush it,” a PAAS member said.
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