Hardik patel Gujarat Bandh
Vehicles that were torched during the violence that erupted following Hardik Patel's arrest.Twitter/ANI

Curfew has been imposed in Surat and Mehsana districts amidst Gujarat Bandh called by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel, who led 'Kranti rally' in Ahmedabad on Tuesday demanding reservations for the Patel community in the state.

The rally had turned violent in the evening after the Gujarat Police detained Hardik Patel for going on a hunger strike. By the time he was released, the violence had spread to several parts of the state.

Following this, he called for Gujarat Bandh on Wednesday. "I make an appeal to maintain peace and keep calm. I give a call for Gujarat bandh tomorrow. This decision has been taken by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti considering widespread violence in the state," Hindustan Times quoted Hardik as saying on Tuesday evening.

The situation in Surat, Mehsana, Rajkot and Ahmedabad, where violence had erupted, is reportedly under control. However, all schools and colleges in Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and other parts of the state will remain closed.

Paramilitary forces, including State Reserve Police Force, BSF and Rapid Action Force have been deployed in severely affected areas of Gujarat. The state authorities have also suspended mobile Internet services to avoid rumours of violence from spreading across the state through Whatsapp and SMS.

"Last night, there were concerns of rumour-mongering and crowd mobilization through WhatsApp," NDTV quoted a police officer as saying. The police officials said that the Patel agitators had used mobile internet to spread media announcements and videos.

Live Updates:

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2:16 pm: Three people were killed on Tuesday night in the violence that erupted after clashes broke out between Gujarat police and protesters.

1:51 pm: Clashes have been reported in Surat's Varadhha road. Police reportedly used tear gas on protesters.

12:49 pm: Hardik Patel says they did not trigger violence as their method of protest was always non-violent. He claimed that there was police crackdown despite peaceful gathering, NDTV reports.

12:48 pm: PM Narendra Modi says quota issue can be resolved through talks, NDTV reports.

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11:52 am: Fresh stone pelting was reported in Pandesara area of Surat. Newspaper photographers were attacked and their cameras were damaged, The Times of India reports. At least 5,000 paramilitary personnel have been sent to the state.

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10:17 am: Curfew has been extended to more regions of the state, according to reports.

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Hardik, the 22-year-old youth who is representing the Patel community in Gujarat, held a rally in GMDC ground in Ahmedabad, demanding reservations under the OBC (other backward class) quota for the youths of the Patel community in schools, colleges and government jobs.

While demanding reservations, Patel also threatened the BJP, which has been enjoying a stronghold in the state for several years now, saying, "In the next (Gujarat) election in 2017, the lotus (BJP symbol) will not bloom if our needs are not met."

Hardik has become a sensation in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with thousands of agitators from the Patel community challenging the BJP-led government. His agitation is a first-of-its-kind in the state, where Modi ruled for over a decade as the Chief Minister.

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