Uma Bharti lends support to Gujjar community

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Gwalior, May 30: Bharatiya Janshakti Party (BJS) Chief Uma Bharti was prevented from entering Rajasthan on Thursday to support the Gujjar demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The firebrand leader, accompanied by scores of Gujjar activists, tried to enter Rajasthan from the state's border with Madhya Pradesh.

Bharti was told that the situation was volatile, and therefore, she could not enter. She began a hunger strike in protest. "Once the Gujjar community is satisfied, I will call off the hunger strike. I am sitting here because they would have arrested me in Rajasthan," she said. Meanwhile, Gujjars clashed with traders who defied a shutdown call given by the community. Police had to resort to a baton charge in which at least two dozen people were injured.

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"Around eight to ten people attacked me inside my shop. Slowly more people joined the mob. If locals here would not have united and lent their support they would have done further damage," said Ganga Singh Chauhan, a shopkeeper.


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