NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appealed for calm in Gujarat after violence on the reservation issue and said that all issues can be resolved peacefully through discussions.
Making an appeal in Gujarati over television, he said, "I appeal to all brothers and sisters of Gujarat that they should not resort to violence. The only 'Mantra' must be 'Shanti' (peace)." The Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to the welfare of all people and that all issues can be resolved peacefully through discussions.
In his statement against the backdrop of the violence in his home state after a Patel leader was detained briefly last night, Modi said, "Gujarat is a land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel." Asking everybody in the state to make effort to take Gujarat to new heights of development, the former Chief Minister said, "Violence has never done good for anyone. All issues can be resolved peacefully through talks."
He said it is only through development and by working together that people, especially the poor, can be served. "Once again, I appeal to the people of Gujarat to maintain peace. Violence will never achieve anything... Everybody should respect democratic values," he said.
Curfew has been clamped in parts of Ahmedabad, Surat and Mehsana districts and security stepped up in the wake of violence and state-wide bandh called by agitation leader Hardik Patel for today. An uneasy calm prevailed in the state with RAF, BSF and SRP forces deployed along with police to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.
Members of Patel community indulged in arson and stone pelting and vandalised public property last night after the detention of Hardik, who is spearheading the agitation for inclusion of Patel community in OBC category for reservation. More than 50 incidents of violence were reported fromAhmedabad city where buses, police posts and private vehicles were set on fire while police personnel were also attacked at some places.