Gujarat remains tense after Patel caste violence

Tension prevails in India’s Gujarat state where two days of caste-related violence has left eight people dead.

BBC, August 27

Fresh clashes were reported overnight and the army has been deployed to maintain peace.

A curfew has been imposed, after members of the influential Patel community, demanding quotas in government jobs, clashed with the police and local people.


Gujarat has been particularly alert to incidents of violence since 2002 when religious riots left at least 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslims.


Patels are now demanding affirmative action and classification as Other Backward Classes (OBCs) so that they are entitled to quotas in state-run education centres and in government jobs.

OBC refers to the castes – in the middle of the Hindu caste hierarchy – who do not face so much exclusion or isolation in society but have been traditionally socially and economically disadvantaged.

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