At least half a million protesters paralysed Ahmedabad on Tuesday to demand preferential treatment for their Patidar caste and their stir turned violent later in the day after a brief detention of their leader Hardik Patel.

On a day packed with high drama, the 22-year-old Hardik, who has been spearheading the Patel community’s agitation for reservations, was detained by Gujarat Police for launching a hunger strike after a rally was conducted at the GMDC ground without permission.

Nearly 20,000 security personnel were deployed in Ahmedabad, Gujarat for Tuesday’s rally and roads within a two-kilometre radius of the venue were closed to traffic.

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