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Gujjar protesters teargassed as agitation spreads
NSA invoked in 15 dists
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, May 27
The Rajasthan government today invoked the National Security Act in 15 districts of the state with the Gujjar community intensifying its protest across the state. With additional Army units clamping down on the epicentre of the protest at Bharatpur district, protesters at other places kept the state police busy. The police had to lathi charge and tear gas protesters, injuring at least 10 persons, including two policemen.

The police also had a tough time keeping protesters away from the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway where they set an empty bus on fire and tried to block traffic.

The protesters, who had been maintaining an uneasy calm since yesterday, resorted to violence in Pali and Tonk districts today following the rejection of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s letter to the Centre by the protesting Gujjars last evening.

The police teargassed protesters, who blocked the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway this evening. Gujjar youths blocked the Highway (NH- 8) near Kotputali leading to jams on either sides of the road. The relentless protesters had this morning tried to block the Kotputli Sikar road. The police had to use teargas shells to disperse the protesters, ADGP, Rajasthan, K.L. Bairwa told The Tribune.

The Jaipur-Agra highway also remained closed for traffic on the fifth day today with thousands of truck lining up on both sides of the road. Traffic could only move till Dausa district on the Highway. Another group of protestors is squatting on the road at Sikandra with eight dead bodies of their men who were killed in clashes with the police on May 24.

As many as 12 trains were cancelled by the North Western Railway today due to the damage to railway tracks on the Bandikui-Agra Fort section. Another five trains were cancelled and at least six diverted. A communiqué of the railway stated that information about the cancelled/diverted trains could be taken from the round the clock helpline Number 0141-2202758. At least 1,000 buses, which plied daily to Uttar Pradesh from Jaipur, had been cancelled and the number of buses plying to and from New Delhi had been reduced to about 10.

In Ghas village at Tonk least 10 persons, including two policemen, were injured when protesters pelted the police with stones. The police was trying to stop the protesters from forcing shopkeepers to close shops.

The district collectors of 15 districts had been empowered to take action against agitators or anyone found disturbing peace, principal secretary, home, V.S. Singh said in a statement here this evening.

The government claimed that about 150 persons had been arrested in connection with the agitation related cases and 15 cases had been registered at various police stations. Another 22 columns of the Army and 76 columns of other security forces have been deployed in afflicted districts.

The Rajasthan High Court today issued notice to Gujjar leader K.S. Bainsla to appear before the court on May 29 following a contempt of court petition filed by Advocate General B.P. Agrawal.



PM refers Raje’s letter to law ministry
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, May 27
Prime Minister Manmohan has referred Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s letter seeking quotas for the Gujjar community to the law ministry.

The Prime Minister took this decision at a meeting with his Cabinet ministers where he also reviewed the situation in Rajasthan where the Gujjar agitation has reached a boiling point.

Faced with a snowballing protests, Gujjar community demanding Scheduled Caste status, Raje had dashed off a letter to the PM recommending four to six per cent reservation for the community in the category of denotified class of tribals/nomadic tribes.

With the Rajasthan CM lobbying the ball into the Centre’s court, the UPA government is under pressure to take a view as it could find itself in the firing line of the protesting Gujjars. As it is the agitation is virtually on Delhi’s doorstep.



Contempt notice slapped on Bainsla

Jaipur, May 27
The Rajasthan High Court today issued summons to Gujjar Reservation Action Committee convener Col Kirodi Singh Bainsla (retd) to appear before it on May 30 in a contempt petition filed by the state government.

A single Bench of justice Prem Shankar Aasopa issued the summons to the Gujjar leader in the petition filed by the state government for the breach of an undertaking given by him last year for maintaining law and order. The court directed Colonel Bainsla to appear before it on May 30 in person or be represented by his lawyer.

In the petition, advocate-general B.P. Agrawal pleaded that contempt of court proceeding be initiated against the Gujjar leader — UNI



Haryana Gujjars stop milk, veg supply
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Pattikalyan (Panipat), May 27
In order to consolidate the ongoing struggle by the Gujjar community in Rajasthan, Gujjars in the state have decided to stop the supply of milk and vegetables to Delhi on May 29.

They will also go in for “chakka jams” in various parts of the national capital region besides blocking the national highway 1 on the same day.

The Gujjars today assembled in a government school of the village and held a five-hour-long community panchayat. They also blocked the NH-1 for over half an hour to register their protest.

Over a thousand Gujjars from around 50 villages attended the panchayat.

Condemning the Rajasthan government, the community leaders said they would allow the government to suppress people’s voice by use of force.



NCR on alert

New Delhi: With the Gujjar community threatening a “complete NCR roko” on May 29, the Union Home Ministry on Tuesday reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting and put the National Capital Region on high alert. Home minister Shivraj Patil chaired the meeting. He is understood to have later briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. — TNS



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