Blame game starts as Raj govt demands CMs meet on Gujjar issue

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Jaipur/New Delhi, May 26 (UNI) A blame game started with the Rajasthan Cabinet today urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene a conference of Chief Ministers of Gujjar agitation affected states, at an early date, to address the issue in national perspective.

The agitation has kept its heat on as a goods train derailed at around 0400 hrs on the tracks damaged by agitating Gujjars demanding ST status near Bandikui on the Agra-Delhi section.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Ms Raje stated that during a national development council meet in New Delhi a few months ago she had suggested the idea of Chief Ministers' conference to address the Gujjars' demand of ST status as several states were affected by it.

A police spokeman said the engine and six wagons of the train were derailed. Nobody was hurt in the mishap.

He said a mob of Gujjar protesters had damaged the tracks on the stretch of over one kilometer late last night.

The situation in Pillukapura near Bayana and Sikandara in Dausa district continued to be tense as Gujjars were still sitting on a 'dharna' with bodies of the deceased.

The Rajasthan cabinet also met to review the situation in the state and the government said it is always opened for talks.

Meanwhile, the state government did not allow Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and SP general secretary Amar Singh to visit the agitation-hit areas in Bayana and Sikandara.

Mr Yadav and Mr Singh arrived in Bharatpur this morning to visit the dharna sites but were not permitted to proceed further due to security reasons.

The Congress accused the state government of ''playing with bullets,'' and asked Chief Minister to talk to Gujjars and end their ongoing agitation.

''The government is criminally culpable for what is happening in Rajasthan in the past few days," AICC spokesman Manish Tewari told mediapersons in New Delhi.

The Army has been deployed around Pillukapura. Eight columns of the Army have been deployed around the dharna site situated between Pillukapura and Kanvaria villages about 13 Km from Bayana in a bid to mount pressure on the protesters for lifting the dharna and allowing cremation of the deceased.

Officials said efforts were being made to persuade the protestors to hand over the bodies of victims to the authorities for post mortem.

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