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Rajasthan: Gujjars block rail traffic
Neelabh Srivastava in Karwadi/Jaipur | June 03, 2008 16:33 IST
Last Updated: June 03, 2008 16:53 IST
Gujjar protestors blocked rail tracks in violence-hit Dausa leaving thousands of passengers stranded as authorities on Tuesday tightened security in agitation affected areas deploying more paramilitary forces.
A large number of Gujjar protestors including women disrupted train movement by squatting on the tracks at a bridge over Banganga river in Bandiqui area in Dausa district, where 14 people were killed in police firing and clashes on May 24, officials in the adjoining district of Bharatpur said.
Rail commuters were stranded in Jaipur, Dausa, Kota, Jhalawar and other stations with trains either been cancelled or diverted in the wake of the Gujjar stir for ST status.
With the disruption in rail services, there was chaos in bus depots in Jaipur and other areas. Rajasthan road transport authorities struggled to handle the huge rush of passengers as people from places like Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur and Ajmer, who were on their way to Delhi and other neighbouring states, were worst affected.
To deal with any fresh spurt in the 12-day-old agitation led by Gujjar leader K S Bhainsla, additional contingents of Central Reserve Police Force, Rapid Action Force and other paramilitary forces have been deployed, a senior Rajasthan government official S M Thanvi, who has been dealing with the ongoing stir, said.
Meanwhile, the stand off between the Gujjar protesters and the state government on the issue of postmortem on bodies of agitation victims in Karwadi and other violence affected areas ended as their relatives decided to cremate them following conduct of autopsy on Monday night.
As the stir continued, Rajasthan University announced cancellation of all examinations till June 7.
The written examination for the state administrative services on June 8 has also been deferred for an indefinite period, officials said. Another exam by the Railway Recruitment Borad in Ajmer to induct ticket collection has also been postponed.
A North Western Railway spokesman said 19 trains have either been cancelled or diverted.
All trains on the Jaipur-Delhi sector have been cancelled, he said, adding that barring Jaipur-Mumbai, Jaipur-Bhopal-Indore and Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur-Bikaner sectors, traffic on all other routes were non-operational.
As many as 170 additional buses have been press into service by the Rajasthan authorities on the Jaipur-Delhi high to ease the rush of passengers since Monday night.
In another development, BJP MP Vishvendra Singh from Bharatpur district and his MLA wife Divya Singh have come out openly in support of the agitation, Gujjar leaders said in Bharatpur.