Ahmedabad: The death toll in the violence across Gujarat has risen to nine on Thursday, as the Patel community continues its agitation demanding OBC status and reservation benefits.

The violence was triggered on Tuesday night by the brief arrest of Hardik Patel, the 22-year-old leader of the agitation. Mr. Patel called for a State bandh on Tuesday, a day of violence which saw protesters torching 100 buses and vandalising property. Six persons were killed in police firing and two in the rioting. One succumbed to injuries on Thursday.

The Army, which was called in on Wednesday to control the situation, staged flag marches in Ahmedabad and Surat on Thursday. About 113 companies of

paramilitary forces have also been deployed in affected areas. Each company comprises 80 personnel. Forty-nine of these companies are deployed in Ahmedabad, six in Vadodara, 10 in Surat, three companies in Rajkot and remaining in other parts of the state to maintain the law and order, said Director General of Police P.C. Thakur, to PTI.

Schools and colleges in the State will remain shut today too. Mobile internet services, which was on the blink yesterday, will remain suspended today.

Train services have been affected as protesters have damaged tracks in at least eight places.  12 trains have been cancelled and 19 partially cancelled, a railway official said.

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