Hardik Patel Untraceable Since Arrest on 18 January, Claims Wife

Gujarat Congress leader and Patidar quota agitation headman Hardik Patel is untraceable since 18 January when he was arrested in a 2015 sedition case, his wife Kinjal said on 10 February.

“Hardik Patel has been untraceable since he was arrested on 18 January. Though we do not know where he is, the police frequently comes to our residence to ask me about his whereabouts,” said Kinjal at an event organised by Patidar quota leaders.

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Chain of Events

  • Patel, who is facing sedition cases related to the 2015 Patidar quota agitation, was arrested on 18 January after a court in Ahmedabad issued a non-bailable warrant for not being present during a hearing. He was arrested late on 18 January from Viramgam taluka in Gujarat's Ahmedabad district.
  • He was granted bail four days later but was again picked up in connection with two other cases filed in Patan and Gandhinagar districts. Patel got bail in these two cases on 24 January.
  • However, a trial court issued a non-bailable warrant on 7 February after he once again failed to appear for a hearing.

In all, Patel faces over 20 cases registered against him across Gujarat after he led the Patidar quota stir in 2015.

Cong Claims the Arrests Are Politically Motivated

In January, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had 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.” " - Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had replied to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s comment by saying that she should have a “legal understanding” that Patel had been arrested as per a court's order.

"“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.”" - Nitin Patel

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(With inputs from PTI)

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