Gujjar Stir : Victims cremated ; Rail routes hit

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Jaipur, Jun 3 (UNI) Sixteen Gujjar protesters, who were killed in police firing in Pillukapura-Karwadi near Bayana on May 23 during the Gujjar stir for ST status, were cremated while protesters blocked traffic on the Jaipur-Delhi, Jaipur-Agra and Alwar-Mathura rail routes for the second successive day today.

The bodies of 16 firing victims which were lying at the dharna site at Pillukapura-Karwadi since May 23 were handed over to their next of kin after autopsies last night.

The families of 13 victims had taken away the bodies for cremation but two of them later returned with the corpses at the dharna site, said Rajasthan Water Resources Secretary SN Thanvi, who has been camping in Bayana for the past 12 days.

While 11 bodies were cremated at their native places in Dausa, Bharatpur, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts, the remaining five were cremated at a farm in Karwadi village near dharna site itself, he said.

A farmer-Sughad Singh- has donated 3 bighas of land for cremation of bodies in Karwadi village, Mr Thanvi said.

The post-mortem on 19 victims, which began at the 'dharna' site in Sikandara yesterday, was being completed today. Autopsies on the bodies of two Gujjars who had died in police firing in Kushalipura in Sawai Madhopur on Friday last, were also conducted at Kushalipura.

However, a final decision on their cremation was yet to be taken.

The blockade and 'dharna' at the Arnia Railway station in Dausa district being staged by Gujjar women since Sunday night continued with protesters blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Jaipur-Agra rail routes.

Protesters also blocked Jaipur- Dausa-Agra Road for sometimed near Bhadana in Dausa district. Authorities had persuaded the protesters to clear the road, police said.

Groups of armed Gujjar youths blocked the Alwar-Mathura line at Brij Nagar railway station in Bharatpur yesterday.

The busy Delhi-Mumbai route via Bayana, Sawai Madhopur and Kota has also been closed since May 23 due to the ongoing dharna on the rail tracks at Pillukapura-Karwadi.

On the twelfth day of the Gujjar stir today, the situation remained calm by and large. However, despite Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's fresh invitation to Gujjar leaders for a dialogue, no progress in the process of peaceful solution to the stir could be made during the past 24 hours.

The process for talks could make further headway after the completion of cremation of victims, a government spokesman said.

UNI SS RP BST1837

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