Indian police detain community leader ahead of protest at India-SA match

RAJKOT: Indian police have detained Hardik Patel, leader of the local Patel community, five kilometers from Rajkot stadium where the third one-day international match between India and South Africa is being held.


Patel had threatened that his community would block the way of Indian and South African teams to the cricket stadiums and not let them enter if his supporters are not allowed to enter inside to stage an agitation.

“We believe that the world should see how the Patel community is being harassed in the so-called development model of Gujarat,” Dinesh Patel, a close aide of Hardik, was quoted by Indian media as saying.

The 22-year-old leader said they have got tickets for the match and will go to the stadium to protest and disrupt the international match, raising security concerns for the administration in Gujarat state where the stadium is located.

Rajkot stadium has been fortified and the city secured with large deployment of police personnel in light of the security situation.

Overnight, the local administration also blocked mobile phone and internet services in the district to “maintain peace, stop spread of rumours and for smooth conduct of the international cricket match”, officials said.