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India's Patel community in mass rally over caste quotas

03:48 PM | 25 Aug, 2015
India's Patel community in mass rally over caste quotas
AHMEDABAD (Web Desk) - Tens of thousands of people of Gujarat's Patel community have gathered in India's western city of Ahmedabad to demand affirmative action for better access to jobs and education.

The meeting is being addressed by Hardik Patel, a 21-year-old controversial community leader, the BBC reported.

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Patels comprise 20% of the population of Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

They are also the most economically influential community in the state.

Patels control India's thriving diamond cutting and polishing industry and are among the most prosperous businessmen and farmers in Gujarat.

But a slowdown in small and medium industries - where many Patels are employed - in Gujarat has led to a drying up of employment opportunities, reports say.

Led by Mr Hardik Patel, a feisty, upcoming community leader, the 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.

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At least 300,000 people have turned up for Tuesday's meeting and security is tight, BBC’s correspondent Geeta Pandey said.

The organisers of the rally have roped in 2,500 volunteers to manage the crowds and keep peace, she said.

"We are not against any community. We are fighting for our rights," Mr Patel told the packed audience.

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Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has rejected their demand and urged community leaders to hold talks with the government.

"Her appeal means nothing... it is just to create confusion on the agitation... had she been serious, she would have announced something concrete," Mr Patel was quoted as saying by the NDTV news channel.

The writer is a member of the staff.

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Currency Rates Today - Pakistani Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, Riyal - 14 July 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on July 14, 2024 (Sunday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 279.8 for buying and 280.75 for selling. Euro's buying rate moves up to 301.25 and selling rate is 303.15.

British Pound rate is 355.15 for buying, and 358.65 for selling. UAE Dirham AED was at 76.5 and Saudi Riyal lowered to 73.65.

Currency Rates Today

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.8 280.75
Euro EUR 301.25  303.15
UK Pound Sterling GBP 355.15 358.65
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.5 77.25
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.65 74.37
Australian Dollar AUD 184.55 186.35
Bahrain Dinar BHD 741 749
Canadian Dollar CAD 203.75 205.75
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 40.05 40.45
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.43
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.25 917.35
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.95 59.75
New Zealand Dollar NZD 169.24 171.24
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.04 26.34
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.89
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.39 77.09
Singapore Dollar SGD 202 204
Swedish Korona SEK 26.5 26.8
Swiss Franc CHF 309.15 311.65
Thai Bhat THB 7.5 7.65

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