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Gujarat Government Told To File Charges Against Hardik Patel by January 8

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Gujarat Government Told To File Charges Against Hardik Patel by January 8

Hardik Patel is behind the bars in two separate cases of sedition.

New Delhi:  The Gujarat government has been asked to file a case against Hardik Patel, one of the key leaders of last year's stir by the Patidar community, who has been in jail for more than two months.

The Supreme Court, which gave the order today, has granted the state three days' time to file the charges. The case will be heard on January 14.

Mr Patel, 22, was arrested in October after his community's demands for reservation in government jobs had intensified. Two cases of sedition were lodged against him - one in Surat and the other in Ahmedabad.

The First Information Report said the young leader had allegedly instigated his community to kill policemen and adopt violent means to wage "war against the Gujarat government".

Mr Patel's bail plea has been turned down by the Gujarat High Court.  But the court granted him partial relief by dropping the treason charge against him, which carries a death penalty.

The socially and financially strong Patel community's demand for reservation had reached a fever pitch last year.

Aggressive protests were held in the state and out, police had clamped down on internet service on cellphones and there were even instances of violence.

The Gujarat government, which has a substantial number of ministers, has turned down the demand.

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