Policeman among 8 Dead in Gujarat Violence, Army Called In: 10 Developments

Buses were set on fire in Ahmedabad during the violence that followed Hardik Patel's brief detention on Tuesday night (Press Trust of India photo)

Ahmedabad: Eight people, including a policeman, have died in the violence that erupted in several parts of Gujarat after the brief detention of 21-year-old Hardik Patel on Tuesday night in Ahmedabad. The city is tense and the Army has been called in to restore law and order.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this big story:

  1. Five people died last night in Ahmedabad, two of them allegedly in police firing after protesters clashed with cops. Two people were killed in Palanpur in north Gujarat today, both allegedly in police firing. A policeman who was injured during the morning's clashes in Surat, has also died.

  2. There is a curfew in several parts of Ahmedabad. Schools and colleges were closed on Wednesday and will remain closed on Thursday. The Army held flag marches in different parts of the city.

  3. Curfew has also been imposed in Surat, which is tense after incidents of arson, damage to government property and clashes this morning. Schools and colleges will remain closed in Surat on Thursday.

  4. Ten columns of the army and 53 companies of paramilitary forces, besides the Gujarat Police, have been called in to control violent mobs in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Morbi, Vadodara, Mehsana and Banaskantha.

  5. Nine trains cancelled which includes Rajdhani and Ashram Express from Ahmedabad to Delhi; 19 trains had their routes truncated, and five trains have been diverted.

  6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for calm in the state. "Violence does not benefit anybody," the PM said in an appeal on television, adding, "We must work together to solve problems through talks".

  7. Hardik Patel was detained briefly by the Ahmedabad police last night. He is leading a movement by the powerful Patel or Patedar caste that wants reservation in government jobs and colleges. Mr Patel had called for a bandh or strike all over the state today.  

  8. The state government led by Chief Minister Anandiben says that's not possible because Gujarat has already hit a 50 per cent cap on reservation, a limit imposed by the Supreme Court.

  9. More than a 100 buses were set on fire overnight and property damaged in the violence in Ahmedabad, Surat and Mehsana cities and the towns of Unjha and Visnagar, local officers said. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured Chief Minister Anandiben Patel of all help.

  10. Internet services on mobile phones have been suspended in some parts of the state to check the spread of rumours through WhatsApp and SMS. Internet can be accessed on computers in homes and offices.



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