Gautam Desai on Facebook, Aug 17th 2013 , 6 am IST

Protest the arrests of Lalji Desai, Sagar Rabari, Kanubhai Kalsariya and other leaders of successful agitation against SIR(Special Investment Region) by fax, phone & emails to Gujarat Government. Following the flag-hoisting that was held in village Dalod (after the permission for the same at village Hansalpur was cancelled at 12.30 a.m. on 15th August) the police have registered an FIR against 10 persons who addressed the mass gathering there, including Lalji Desai, Sagar Rabari, Kanubhai Kalsariya and others. The offense that they are being charged with is violation of prohibitory orders!

The assembly that took place on 15th August 2013 was on private land and for the purpose of flag hoisting. This was not an act of criminality in any way, and yet the state decided to impose prohibitory orders on a peaceful assembly. There could not be a more telling commentary on the state of affairs in Gujarat today.

At the time of sending out this update, Lalji Desai and Sagar Rabari have been arrested from their homes in Ahmedabad, when they had already made it known that they were going to Mandal to surrender to the police there. This appears to be a deliberate and calculated move on the part of the state administration to detain them on a Saturday and to keep them in custody over the weekend. Yet another telling commentary on the way the state government deals with people’s voices that appear to go against its own interests. It is also learnt that a large number of people have gathered in the villages as a spontaneous show of solidarity with their leaders.

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