AHMEDABAD: The government Tuesday told the Gujarat High Court that it was not trying to suppress or "demoralise" the agitation of Patidar leader Hardik Patel who has launched an indefinite fast from his house here.
It is only trying to ensure that there is no violence such as witnessed during the Patidar quota agitation three years ago, the government said in a written reply.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has moved the high court, alleging that police are not letting people enter the bungalow on the outskirts of Ahmedabad where Hardik Patel is on hunger strike since August 25.
"There is no attempt on the part of administration to demoralise Hardik Patel or his movement, only genuine and bona-fide effort to regulate the entry of visitors," the government said.
"The only effort...is to see that no untoward incident, particularly as it happened on August 25, 2015, at GMDC Ground and pursuant to the fallout of gathering led by Hardik Patel, does not take place and law and order situation as well as public order in the state are duly safeguarded," it said.
It also cited the vandalism reported in Surat on August 19 when the PAAS leader was detained to stress the point.
"Police are regulating the gathering of crowd (outside Patel's house) in view of issuance of notification under section 144 of the CrPC (restricting movement). It does not mean that anyone is restrained from entering the area where Hardik Patel is on fast," the reply said.
The PAAS, in its petition, has sought a direction to police to allow people to meet its leader, who launched indefinite fast for quota for the Patidar community and farm loan waiver on the third anniversary of 2015 agitation.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.