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Hardik moves Gujarat High Court against interception of phone calls by police

Hardik moves Gujarat High Court against interception of phone calls by police
Highlights

Hardik Patel, the leader of an agitation demanding quota for Patels in education and government jobs, moved the Gujarat High Court on Friday challenging the interception of his associates\' and his phone calls by the police and seeking an independent inquiry into it.

Hardik Patel, the leader of an agitation demanding quota for Patels in education and government jobs, moved the Gujarat High Court on Friday challenging the interception of his associates' and his phone calls by the police and seeking an independent inquiry into it.


"The petitioner challenges the legality... of unlawfully tapping telephones not only of the petitioner but of several thousands persons of the Patidar community...which they (police) have admitted in the FIR against the petitioner," said his plea calling it the "grossest violation of personal liberty".

The petition was filed by Hardik's father Bharat Patel as the agitation leader himself is in the custody of police.

The city crime branch had on October 21 registered a First Information Report or FIR against Hardik and his aides Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel, Dinesh Patel, Alpesh Kathiria and Amrish Patel on charges of sedition and waging war against the government. The FIR mentions details of call interceptions of the Patel leaders.

The Patel leaders and members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti conspired to topple the state government, it alleges.

When Hardik was produced before a magistrate, it was revealed that the police had started tapping the phones in August, though the permission for it was obtained only on October 3.

Hardik's petition, filed through his lawyer B M Mangukia, is likely to be heard on November 2.

The 22-year-old leader is also facing a sedition case in Surat for allegedly advising a Patel youth "to kill policemen rather than committing suicide".

Meanwhile, Chirag Patel's father today wrote to the city Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha alleging that the crime branch official tried to pressurise him to make his son withdraw a habeas corpus petition before the High Court charging Hardik was abducted by some people last month.
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