Jaipur, May 27: Rajasthan Police used tear gas on Gujjar protestors on Delhi-Jaipur Highway and in Tonk district today as the stir spreads to new areas in Rajasthan. Police fired teargas shells to disperse hundreds of protesters who had blocked the busy Delhi-Jaipur national highway near Kothputli about 130 kms from the State capital, leading to traffic chaos. Police had earlier lathicharged the agitators.
Gujjar protesters were also teargassed by police in Tonk district, about 200 kms from Jaipur, after they tried to shut down shops and block roads, Superintendent of Police Giriraj Lal Meena said. At least ten people including two policemen were hurt in the violence at Ghas village, twelve kms from Tonk, Meena said. In Banswara district, the protestors set effigies of Chief Minister Vasudhara Raje and State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on fire. Some minor clashes with police were also reported from the area. The agitations do not seem to die down with Gujjar leader Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla who is camping along with his supporters in Karwadi in Bharatpur district, vowing to continue the ongoing stir.
He is in no mood to relent and has asked the Central Government to consider the community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, adding he would not settle for anything less than that."The Centre should examine our demand. The agitation will go on. What the Gujjars want is ST status notified under Section 342 of the Constitution," Bainsla said.
"I have stated it before and I state it again that the letter of the C M Vasundhara Raje to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a total farce, as it does not refer to the issue of ST status, but reportedly mentions something about nomadic tribes, "he added.
On Monday, Raje had recommended four to six per cent reservation for Gujjars in the category of denotified class of tribals/nomadic tribes, according to Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister R S Rathore.