Ahmedabad: Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday said the police action against quota agitators at GMDC Ground here on August 25, 2015, was no less atrocious than the 1919 Jalianwala Bagh massacre.
The Patidar leader, who has since joined the Congress, made the submission before the KA Puj Commission, set up by the Gujarat government to probe alleged police atrocities during the Patel community's 2015 stir for quota.
The agitation intensified after Hardik Patel addressed a huge gathering at GMDC Ground on August 25 that year.
The 26-year-old leader appeared before the commission in Gandhinagar on Wednesday and submitted a written statement about alleged police atrocities on Patidar agitators.
Several policemen stormed the stage of the rally after he and some others decided to sit on a hunger strike, he said.
"What happened after 8 pm was nothing short of Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Only 1,500 to 2,000 persons were present in the ground while around 22, including me, were on
the stage. On the other side, over 15,000 policemen were deployed on the ground," he said in the statement.
"Suddenly, policemen switched off all the lights and started lathicharge. Policemen also stormed the stage and thrashed the agitators," he claimed.
When he and other agitators were being put in a police van, they were "attacked" by some policemen with rifle butts, he alleged.
"After committing such atrocities on us, policemen stormed into houses and thrashed innocent people at several places in the state, which led to public outrage and incidents of violence by public. As many as 14 youths were killed in police firing. Numerous innocent youths were booked under false charges," Hardik said.
He blamed the BJP-led state government for "disturbing the peaceful atmosphere".
Though four years had passed, no action was taken against the police personnel who committed atrocities, he said.
"If my demand of reservation was unconstitutional, why the Gujarat government and the Central government granted 10 percent EBC reservation? It was police action which was against the Constitution," said Hardik.
With his statement, Hardik also submitted video clips and newspaper clippings related to the agitation and alleged police atrocities.