Lucknow, May 24: Coming out in support of the agitating Gujjar community seeking ST status in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati today criticised the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in that state for indulging in 'police firing' and urged Ms Raje to listen to the community's problems.
At least 15 people were killed in police firing in Rajasthan's Bharatpur district following agitation staged by Gujjars demanding ST status yesterday.
Ms Mayawati, though non-committal on whether Gujjars should be included in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category or not, said the BJP government in Rajasthan should address their demands on priority basis.
'' My party condemn the firing on the agitating members of the Gujjar community and hold the Rajasthan government responsible for the killings,'' the UP CM told a crowded press conference at her official residence here.
She said the Rajasthan government should difuse the situation in an amicable manner at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the situation in Rajasthan continued to be tense as the Gujjar community members were sitting on a 'dharna' along with the bodies of nine deceased.
The members of Gujjar Reservation Action Committee, which had given a call to revive its agitation for the ST status after a gap of over seven months yesterday, called for a 'bandh' and/or 'Chakka jam' today in several towns including Sikandara(Dausa), Chandalai (Tonk) Kishangarh(Ajmer), Kota and Jhalawar.
Police in Rajasthan had to open fire on an irate mob of Gujjar demonstrators blocking rail traffic on busy Delhi-Mumbai route near Dumariya railway station in Bharatpur district yesterday morning.