Mann extends support to Gujjar agitation; flays Raj govt

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New Delhi, May 30 (UNI) Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann's entry into Bharatpur district, the epicenter of the Gujjar agitation for ST status for the community, was blocked yesterday by the Rajasthan Police.

Mr Mann, who along with a jatha of his party workers, is now camping in Agra after he was refused entry in Rajasthan, said in a statement today the BJP's main motive was to ''appease the upper caste people, ideologue and upholder of Hindutva policies and consolidate its vote-bank.'' Mr Mann, who was going to Rajasthan to express solidarity with the community, said Gujjars were valiant people who fought the Britishers in 1857 when Indians rose in rebellion for the first time.

He termed the Gujjars demand just.

''Now, the Centre should intervene to protect the Gujjars -- the victim of BJP's ire,'' he said.

UNI JSS KD RP RN1300

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