Jaipur, May 24: Army has been deployed in Bayana village of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan, following clashes between members of the Gujjar community and the police last night. Yesterday, at least 15 people, including a policeman, were killed in police firing and clashes. The Gujjars are demanding Scheduled Tribe status. Rajasthan Principal Home Secretary V S Singh said that the mob pelted stones and did not disperse even after the police lobbed teargas shells.
The clashes broke out as protesters gathered in the morning at Dumariya village in support of a 'rail roko' call given by Rajasthan Gurjar Arakashan Sangarsh Samiti leader, Kirori Singh Bhainsla. "Gujjars will not settle for anything less than the state's letter of recommendation to the Centre for the ST status," said Bhainsla and added, "We will take up the stir indefinitely unless the state government complies with our demand."
The special package of Rs 282 crores announced by the government for the uplift of Gujjars can neither be accepted in lieu of the recommendation letter nor is it sufficient for the development of the community, said Bhainsla. He also said the Samiti would not even accept an enhanced package. Bhainsla and five of his associates have been issued arrest warrants by the Karauli district authorities.
Concerned over Gujjar violence in Rajasthan, the Centre has asked neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and the National Capital, which have a sizeable Gujjar population, to maintain a strict vigil to prevent any backlash of the incidents in Bharatpur.