M A I N   N E W S

Gurjar stir spreads
* 1 killed in firing * Govt buildings torched

Jaipur, May 30
One person was killed today and five were injured in police firing to quell Gurjar protesters who torched several government offices in Rajasthan's Bayana town, taking the toll to 15 as the agitation over the ST quota issue spread to several parts of the state.

One body was recovered, and five injured persons were admitted to nearby hospitals in Bayana in Bharatpur district, home secretary V.S. Singh said.

Two columns, comprising 200 personnel of the Army, were called out to assist the civil administration in Bayana, he said, maintaining that they would hold flag march there.

The police fired 60 rounds as irate protestors laid siege to the Bayana police station after setting fire at least 15 government offices, including a courtroom and offices of a power station, sub-divisional magistrate and a civic body, Bharatpur SP Anand Srivastava told PTI over the phone.

Terming the situation in the town as "riot-like", Srivastava said the agitators also pelted stones at several other government offices and damaged property.

With today's death in the police firing, the toll since yesterday's violence that started with the 'chakka jam' agitation over the Gurjar community's demand for the Scheduled Tribe status has mounted to 15.

Violence spread to several parts of Rajasthan on the second day of the stir with protesters blocking road and rail traffic as talks between the government and agitating community leaders failed to take off.

Eight Rajasthan Roadways buses were torched near Bharatpur and Sariska in Alwar district and incidents of road blockades, arson and stone-pelting were also reported from Bandikui, Karauli, Dausa, Dholpur, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Bhilwara, Bundi and Chittorgarh.

Two police stations were set ablaze in Dubi and Sikandra in the worst-hit Dausa district, where agitators continued the blockade of the Jaipur-Agra highway for the second day from Pipalkhera to Pachroli in neighbouring Karuli district.

The government's bid to restore normalcy by offering to hold talks with representatives of the Gurjar Reservation Sangharsh Samiti leaders, including Karnal Kirori Singh Bainsla, failed to take off.

"No one from the Samiti has turned up here for talks so far," parliamentary affairs minister B.S. Rajawat said.

"We are keeping all doors open for dialogue...We will wait for their response," he said.

Army out after arson

Jaipur: The Army and paramilitary forces were called out in Bandikui of Dausa district today after protesters damaged railway tracks, signals and crossings.

According to the police, the protesters set afire two buses in Divai and Sikandra near Bandikui and damaged at least 2 km of railway tracks near the Bharatpur railway station.

A mob set on fire the Atal Ban police post near Bharatpur and two huts near Kali ki Holi Bagichi, which resulted in a prolonged traffic jam in the area.

In Alwar district, the protesters tried to block the roads and highways and clashed with the police. UNI



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