Gujarat: BJP MLA Bharat Patel warns of ‘riot’ as Ganesh procession halted | Surat News – Times of India

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Video grab of MLA Bharat Patel (left)

SURAT: Valsad BJP MLA Bharat Patel waded into a controversy by allegedly threatening police that he was capable of sparking a riot with just one word, in a video that is being widely circulated on social media.
The incident took place in Valsad on Sunday evening when a group of locals were bringing Ganesha idol to a pandal. Sources said that around 200 people were dancing to loud DJ music and bursting crackers on the road. This created a massive traffic jam on Tithal Road that connects Valsad town to the beach. Moreover, being a holiday, there was even more rush on the road.
Senior police officials said that Ahir Youth Club, which had taken out the procession, had not sought the requisite permission. It was taken out with loudspeakers and songs were played through a laptop. Police seized the laptop when the organizers continued playing music despite multiple warnings by cops.
After the laptop was seized, the organizers called Patel, who got into an argument with the police on arriving there. In the video, Patel is heard saying: “If I say (sic), there will be rioting just now.” He further instructs a police sub-inspector not to indulge in ‘dadagiri (intimidating behaviour).’ “We did not create any problem during Tazia,” Patel is heard arguing in the video.
Valsad superintendent of police, Rajdeepsinh Zala told TOI: “They not only blocked the road for long but also burst firecrackers and restarted playing loud music after briefly stopping it when warned. In a meeting held in presence of district administration officials, I discussed that the organizers should inform the police in advance so that processions can be taken out smoothly.”
The MLA alleged that police don’t give permission to organizers in time due to which they carry out the processions without authorization.
Zala said “District police are not authorized to give permission to carry out a procession, but we could have directed them to organize it without creating problems for common people. There was heavy traffic of people going to Tithal and returning when the procession was taken out.”
Patel has refuted the allegations. “I told the police that there would be rioting if they didn’t return the laptop. This was not a threat. I controlled the situation and the police’s act to seize the laptop was illegal,” he claimed.
“Police had stopped and seized the laptop of a Ganesh procession a few days ago. They again seized the laptop of another procession on Sunday evening after which people called me,” Patel told TOI.


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