AHMEDABAD: A close aide of quota agitation leader Hardik Patel has been accused of duping a cotton trader and a ginning mill owner from Gujarat to the tune of over Rs one crore, police said today.
According to police officials, the accused identified as Dinesh Patel, also known as Dinesh Bambhania, had not paid over Rs one crore to two mill owners.
"One Khoda Patel, a trader of cotton bales from Dhasa town of Bhavnagar district, filed a police complaint, alleging that Dinesh Bambhania alias Dinesh Patel cheated him by not paying about Rs 57 lakh for cotton bales which he had sold to him in 2012," said Sub Inspector C G Joshi of Virpur police station.
As per the complaint, Khoda had given 500 cotton bales to Dinesh and was supposed to receive Rs 1.20 crore from him in return. "Dinesh had given two cheques of Rs 60 lakh and Rs 56 lakh, which got dishonoured," Joshi said.
Dinesh then paid some amount and owed about Rs 57 lakh but when the applicant demanded the amount, the accused allegedly said he would not return it as he did not have any money and misbehaved with Patel, he added.
An inquiry is being conducted into the allegations and police is likely to question Dinesh in this case. A similar complaint has been filed against Dinesh in Damnagar police station of Amreli district by one Punabhai Talaviya, owner of Murlidhar Cotton Ginning Mill in Dhasa town of Bhavnagar district.
"Dinesh had bought cotton worth Rs three crore from us in 2012-13 and had given two cheques worth Rs 1.10 crore, which bounced due to lack of sufficient money in his bank account," reads the complaint filed by Talaviya at Damnagar police station.
Dinesh made partial payment to Talaviya but owed him Rs 52 lakh, police said. One high-ranking official said the police have begun an inquiry into the case.
Talaviya's ginning mill partner Ashok Patel said Dinesh had become "untraceable" after the cheques were dishonoured. "We saw Dinesh on television sharing stage with Hardik Patel in the recent agitation of Patidars at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad. On seeing him, I called him up, but he did not respond, following which, my partner Punabhai lodged a complaint with Damnagar police," Patel told reporters today.
Dinesh has been constantly seen with Hardik since their agitation to get reservation for their community began last month.
Hardik has been leading the agitation for reservation under OBC quota for Patel, which had turned violent last week after his detention from GMDC ground here and claimed ten lives, including that of a police constable.