Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government today said it would withdraw the cases including non-serious criminal charges against members of the Patel community and even the sedition case against Hardik Patel would be "reviewed".
Health Minister and government spokesperson Nitin Patel said the sedition case against Hardik and others will be reviewed and may be withdrawn after scrutiny.
"The government has decided to withdraw 74 police cases filed against 382 Patel community members across Gujarat during the quota agitation. Charges against them were not of serious nature. So we have decided to withdraw these cases in the first phase," the minister said.
A government statement said 457 First Information Report or FIRs were registered in 18 districts and 1,750 people arrested in the wake of violence during the quota agitation, but 1,736 of them received bail immediately.
Only 14 people are behind bars now as they face serious charges and were refused bail by the courts, it said.
"In the second phase, we will take up each of the cases having serious charges and review them one by one. We may withdraw such cases if the government finds them eligible for withdrawal after scrutiny," the health minister said.
Large-scale violence broke out across Gujarat after Hardik, a young leader who became the face of the agitation for inclusion of the Patel community in the OBC category, was detained by police after a rally here on August 25.
At least 10 people and a policeman were killed in the violence while property worth crores was damaged following which criminal cases for arson and rioting were registered against the agitators.
The police also slapped sedition charges against Hardik and seven others. Of them, Hardik and four others are still in jail as various courts rejected their bail pleas.