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Rajasthan: Gujjars stage dharna with bodies
May 24, 2008 15:23 IST
The situation in Pillukapura in Bayana region where 15 people were killed in police firing and violence following agitation staged by Gujjars seeking ST status on Friday, continued to be tense as the community members were sitting on a 'dharna' along with the bodies of nine deceased.
The army and the Central paramilitary forces, including the Rapid Action Force and the Central Reserve Police Force have been called out to assist the administration, a police spokesman said in Jaipur.
Meanwhile, the Gujjar Reservation Action Committee, which had given a call to revive its agitation for the ST status after a gap of over seven months on Friday, called for a 'bandh' or 'chakka jam' on Saturday in several towns including Sikandara (Dausa), Chandalai (Tonk), Kishangarh (Ajmer), Kota and Jhalawar.
Confusion over the exact death toll in the agitation still prevailed.
Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria and the police said 15 people, including a RAC head constable, were killled in the violence, while the Rajasthan state Congress committee had put the toll at 19, including three police personnel.
Local media, however, reported that as many as 17 people were killed in the violence.
About 3,000 demonstrators had blocked the railway tracks on busy Delhi-Mumbai route near Dumariya railway station in Bharatpur district on Friday morning. The mob in its bid to approach the railway tracks to sit on 'dharna' confronted the police and threw stones, used batons and some miscreants from the mob fired at the police from country made rifles.
The mob also indulged in arson and set afire some vehicles, including a police jeep and a media crew vehicle.
Official sources had said police opened fire on an irate mob of Gujjar demonstrators blocking rail traffic.