Vijay Rupani’s ‘ISIS’ accusations against Ahmed Patel backfired, might face defamation case

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Sardar Patel Hospital trustee Jayesh Patel said that neither Ahmed Patel nor any of his family members were associated with it.
Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister’s attempt to link Ahmed Patel with the terror suspects backfired as Ahmed Patel had resigned from the hospital in 2013.

The Gujarat ATS had recently arrested two individuals, lawyer Ubed Mirza, 29, and Kasim Steamerwala, 31 accusing them of planning terrorist attacks in the state.Both of them were influenced by a Jamaican preacher and were planning an attack on Abraham Synagogue, Ahmedabad.

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The hospital on Saturday said that neither Ahmed Patel nor any of his family members were associated with it. The trustees of the hospital said that Patel had only “helped the hospital” in gathering funds.

According to Indian Express reports, Trustee Jayesh Patel said, “Neither Ahmed Patel nor any member of his family are associated with this hospital as trustees. We don’t want to give shelter to terrorism. Our hospital management condemns such activities and the accused, if guilty, should be strictly and legally punished. Only, Ahmed Patel is an MP (Rajya Sabha ) and he is the son of this land. He helped the hospital by way of funds, which has benefited people. We should be thankful to him for that.”

Mr Jayesh also clarified that Kasim had quit as an echo-cardiogram technician from Sardar Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar district of Bharuch district and had got a job and a work visa for Jamaica. He planned to leave for Jamaica after carrying out the attack at the synagogue. Ahmed Patel was the trustee of Sardar Patel hospital till 2013 along with a dozen other trustees.

Chief Minister Rupani addressing a media briefing demanded Patel’s resignation. “This is a serious issue,” Mr Rupani said, because “the terrorist was arrested from a hospital which is being run by Mr Patel.”

“Imagine what would have happened if these two terrorists were not arrested… Patel, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress must come clean on the issue,” he demanded.

According to sources close to Patel said that the political secretary to Sonia Gandhi was in talks with his lawyers to seek advice on filing a criminal defamation case.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ahmed Patel in his defence has said that the allegations levelled by the BJP are completely baseless. “My party and I appreciate the ATS’ effort to arrest the two terrorists. I demand strict and speedy action be taken against them. We request that matters of national importance not be politicised keeping elections in mind. Let’s not divide the peace-loving Gujaratis while fighting terrorism.”

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Backing Patel, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the BJP and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were making such baseless statements only to hide their own incompetence.

“BJP and its Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, to hide their failures, are issuing these kinds of absurd statements,” he said, pointing that it was BJP leaders who had been caught for being Pakistan ISI moles in Madhya Pradesh.

Congress claims as the people are turning against the BJP government and are questioning the Gujarat model, the nervous CM is using the arrests to communalise and polarise the voters.

With PTI inputs

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