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Home > News > PTI

Security high in Delhi as Gujjars call for bandh

June 03, 2007 19:45 IST
Last Updated: June 04, 2007 08:40 IST

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Coverage: Rajasthan's caste conflict

Braving blistering heat, Gujjars blocked road and rail traffic and staged protest marches in some parts of North and Central India as their stir in support of their brethren in Rajasthan persisted on Sunday.

Gujjars, demanding a Scheduled Tribe tag in Rajasthan, gave a call for a shutdown in Delhi and in Gwalior Monday, as police intensified vigil to maintain law and order.

Protesters blocked the Gwalior-Sabalgarh passenger train at Semalia near Gwalior and pelted stones at it. No one, however, was injured.

Demanding dismissal of the Rajasthan government, they staged a demonstration near the MP chief minister's residence in Bhopal.

Effigies of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje were torched in some towns as protesters gave the call for a general strike in Gwalior on Monday.

In the national capital, hundreds of Gujjars, in a show of strength, assembled near Parliament Street on Sunday morning, demanding a CBI probe into the police firing and caste clashes in Rajasthan.

A congregation of community leaders also gave a call for for a shutdown in Delhi on Monday, prompting police to step up vigil in sensitive areas.

In neighbouring Ghaziabad, protestors stopped some trains, including the Utkal Express, for an hour.

The Delhi-Lucknow Highway was blocked for two hours with Gujjars setting up roadblocks at several places. They also disrupted traffic on Delhi-Dehradun National Highway in Muzzafarnagar and Delhi-Saharanpur Highway for several hours.

The Railways cancelled 33 trains and diverted 21 as the Gujjar agitation persisted.

The situation in Western Uttar Pradesh, scene of violent protests on Saturday, was peaceful with no reports of any untoward incident from troubled areas.

Meanwhile, talks between Raje and agitating Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Barnala are expected to be held on Monday, seeking to end the row arising out of the community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status, the media advisor to Raje said on Sunday night.

The talks would start at 10am on Monday as mutually agreed between the two sides, Brijesh Sharma said.

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