Quota stir leader in Gujarat, Hardik Patel, on Friday threatened to block the way of Indian and South African cricket teams to the Rajkot stadium, where the third One-Day International (ODI) match of the Gandhi-Mandela series will be played on 18 October.
The 22-year-old Patel quota spearhead also said that Patel community members will cordon off Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Khanderi village on outskirts of Rajkot city as tickets were allegedly not sold to his community members.
Police has made elaborate security arrangements after the threat by Hardik and decided to fortify the stadium and the city with large deployment to ensure smooth conduct of the match.
Police will deploy three unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) and 90 CCTv cameras will be installed for security purposes. Both the Indian and South Africa teams arrived in the city yesterday and will practice on the ground tomorrow. "Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) should clarify on why they declared that all tickets are sold in spite of the fact that many tickets yet remain unsold," Hardik, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), said.
"PAAS will block the way of both the teams (of India and South Africa) to the stadium (on the match day) and we will also cordon the entire stadium," Hardik added.
Hardik, who is agitating to get reservation for Patel community under Other backward Class (OBC) quota, accused the BJP of playing politics over the cricket match.
"The (BJP) Government was saying till now that the match should not be turned into an agitation venue, but now this government is itself playing politics over the match," he said.
"I request to declare the details of ticket selling, because we believe that SCA has given all the match tickets to the BJP people," he alleged.
Hardik, whose detention in August sparked violence in the state taking toll of 10 lives, has alleged that the BJP people will create chaos and harm cricketers, but they will blame it on Patel community.
Meanwhile, the police has made elaborate security arrangements to avoid any eventuality during the international cricket match.
Rajkot Range IG D R Patel today said they will deploy around 2,000 cops and and five Superintendents of Police (SPs) to ensure the smooth conduct of the match.
Apart from those five SPs, 24 Deputy Superintendents of Police, 32 Police Inspectors, 183 Police Sub Inspectors, five women Police Sub Inspectors, 1210 constables, 50 traffic police and 171 lady police constables will be deployed, the IG said.
Besides, seven teams of Quick Response Cell (QRC), three companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and one company of Rapid Action Force (RAF) will be deployed, the IG added. Earlier, Hardik had threatened that his community members will go in large numbers to the stadium on the match day and protest for quota.