Congress demands judicial probe into Bhavnagar firing

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Vadodara, Jul 7 (UNI) The Congress today demanded a judicial probe into the incident of firing at a mob of striking diamond workers in Bhavnagar that claimed two lives and injured over 40 other agitators.

Condemning the incident, party's Gujarat incharge and AICC secretary P Sudhakar Reddy also demanded state government's immediate intervention to find a solution to the issue of wage enhancement for 200,000 diamond workers of the region as the four-day-old strike had turned violent in several parts of the state.

Two diamond workers were shot dead yesterday when a security guard of a diamond unit at Bhavnagar opened fire at a rampaging mob.

The workers are on an indefinite strike, demanding 20 per cent hike in wages.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Reddy demanded that the BJP government in Gujarat come out with a white paper on the Central fund it had received and utilised in various Central government-sponsored programmes in the state during the last four years.

Criticising Chief Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly talking on the lines of Bhindranwale, the Congress leader said although the state was granted crores of rupees under JNNURM, RGGSY and other Central government programmes, it had failed to utilise the funds properly and indulged in false propaganda about the Centre's neglect towards Gujarat.

Mr Reddy greeted Siddharth Patel on his appointment as the new Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president by the party high command today, and expressed optimism that the state party would be further strengthened under Patel's leadership.

Stating that Gujarat Congress' main focus would be its ''unity'' and ''agitation'' in the coming days, Mr Reddy said the new state body would soon formulate its action plan for a state-wide agitation to expose Modi government's 'misdeeds, corrupt practices, anti-people policies and failures'.

Replying to a question about infighting in his own party in Vadodara, the state party incharge, who had closed door meetings with senior party leaders here earlier in the day, said there were differences of opinion in every political party, and they would be resolved soon by the state party leadership.

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