Hardik denied bail by Surat court

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Ahmedabad, March 15 (IANS) Quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel was on Tuesday denied bail by the court of principal district and sessions judge of Surat.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader has been in jail since October last year on charges of sedition and his alleged role in instigating a supporter to kill a few policeman instead of committing suicide.

The police crime branch in Surat had in January filed a 370-page chargesheet in the case.

The same court had earlier rejected the bail plea of the two co-accused — Chirag Desai and Vipul Desai, whom Hardik was supposed to have advised to kill policemen.

On March 8, another court in Ahmedabad had rejected Hardik’s bail plea in yet another case of sedition filed by the Ahmedabad crime branch unit against him and five others for their role in the quota stir turning violent.

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Rejecting the bail plea, the court also observed that his behaviour inside the jail was not good.

Meanwhile, a day after the sessions court served notice to the Lajpore jail authorities asking them why the letters written by Hardik were not allowed to be sent outside, the jail authorities on Tuesday moved court with a request to transfer him to any other prison.

A petition was filed by deputy jail superintendent V.D. Patil in the court of principal district and session judge Geetaben Gopi on Tuesday.

Jail superintendent R.M. Pandey said they initiated the petition mainly because of Hardik’s “ill behaviour”.

The petition mentioned five points as the grounds for Hardik’s transfer to another jail, including alleged misbehaviour with the jail authorities and the doctor, recovery of mobile equipment and Rs.1,000 currency notes from his barrack and his baseless allegations against the jail authorities.

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On the allegation by Hardik’s lawyer Yaswantsinh Vala that the leader was not allowed to wear slippers by the jail authorities and was brought barefoot to the court earlier, the officials said they were just checking his footwear routinely to see if something was hidden in it or not.

“This angered him. It is not fair to say that the jail authorities barred him from wearing footwear,” the superintendent said.

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