Situation improves in Gujarat; Curfew withdrawn in Mehsana; Internet ban, sec 144 continue

18 April, Ahmedabad

Curfew imposed in Mehsana in Gujarat since last evening has been withdrawn from Monday morning following improvement in the situation.

However, internet ban and prohibitory orders under section 144 will remain in force. Police has also filed complaints against more than 50 persons in connection with violent incidents in Mehsana including stone pelting on police and torching of government vehicles.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to maintain law and order situation in view of today’s Bandh call. Gujarat Bandh call has been given by Sardar Patel Group and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti in protest against police lathicharge on patidar agitators in Mehsana yesterday. No untoward incident has been reported from any part of the state since last night barring sporadic incidents of stone pelting and road blockage by the mobs.

Chief Secretary of the State Shri G.R.Aloriya has said that authorities had not given any permission to hold rally in Mehsana in support of their yesterday’s Jail-Bharo call. After reviewing law and order situation, Government has decided to deploy additional security forces in all sensitive areas of the state. Chief Secretary . Aloria told media persons that 161 companies of CRPF and SRP have been deployed across state to maintain law and order.

Apart from these, 10 companies of paramilitary forces will stay on guard in sensitive towns- which are prone to violence in Saurashtra and North Gujarat. Four companies of Rapid Action Force has been deployed in major cities of Gujarat, which include two in Ahmedabad and one each in Surat and Mehsana. Leaves of all police personnel in sensitive areas of the state have been cancelled in the wake of the bandh call by Patidars.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has appealed the people to maintain peace and harmony in the state. In her tweet last evening, she said that violence has never & will not be the solution of any issue. Mrs. Patel said that State Government has already formed the committee of 7 Ministers which is making persistent efforts to resolve the issue amicably. She appealed the people to cooperate with the State Government & help in maintaining peace.

Barring some patidar dominated areas in North and South Gujarat, today’s state bandh call has evoked partial impact. School, colleges and trade and businesses are running normally in most parts of the state except Mehsana, Patan and some pockets of Surat city. University examination starting from today is continuing as schedule. However, North Gujarat University of Patan has cancelled its all examinations today.

Mobile internet and bulk SMS services have been banned in most of the cities to check the rumors. Vehicular traffic is running normally expect state transport buses and local bus services.
Authorities have suspended many trips of State Transport buses towards Mehsana and Patan.

Local bus service and BRTS are partially affected in Ahmedabad and Surat following half of the service cancelled by authorities on precautionary measures. Police has been asked to intensify its patrolling in sensitive areas of the state. Prohibitory orders have been issued under article 144 in all sensitive districts to prevent gathering of four or more persons.

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