Rajasthan in crisis - News clip from my 4 days stuck there.

Jaipur Travel Blog

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Protesting in Jaipur
Friday, June 1, 2007 (Jaipur)
The situation in Rajasthan remains tense as the Gujjars continued their agitation demanding Schedule Tribe status. The turmoil that began four days ago has claimed 23 lives so far.There are concerns on the possibility of a caste war in the state with two people being killed in fresh clashes between groups of Gujjars and Meenas in Lalsot town of Dausa district. As many as 10,000 Meenas have gathered in Lalsot to oppose the demand of Gujjars from tribal status.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen MLAs belonging to the Meena tribe are meeting Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje now in a bid to convince that reservation for the Gujjars should not be shifted from OBC to tribal status.Road blockMajor arteries connecting the state are still blocked and travellers are suffering as both rail and road traffic is badly affected for the fourth consecutive day.

In all 40 trains have been affected and Section 144 has been imposed in parts of Dausa town.Thousands of Gujjars are still blocking the Jaipur-Agra segment of National Highway 11 between Peepalkheda and Patoli, keeping vigil over the bodies of six victims, who died in Tuesday's police firing. Traffic on the Jaipur-Kota and Jaipur-Delhi highway is badly hit. The army has now been deployed in seven districts of Rajasthan Kota, Boondi, Sawaimadhopur, Bharatpur, Karoli and Jhalawar.

The District Magistrate has given shoot at sight orders in Bayana district. Wary of their ST status, the Meenas, a dominant community in the desert state, too has got into a direct confrontation with the Gujjars. The Meenas had on Thursday evening threatened to remove the blockade on Agra-Jaipur highway if the Gujjars didn't relent.Membmers of the Meena community are coming from nearby villages to attend a Mahapanchayat in Nangal Pyaribaas, carrying lathis and iron rods.Unrest spreads.

The unrest in Rajasthan is spreading and its effects are being felt in the national capital. Gujjars are protesting in Faridabad, Haryana just outside Delhi. The police had to fire in the air to disperse crowds and according to reports a police vehicle was also torched.The Mehrauli Gurgaon road has also been blocked at Aaya Nagar, it is one of the main roads from Delhi to suburb Gurgaon.Standoff continues.

For now the standoff between the BJP state government and the Gujjars continues as late night talks between Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Gujjar leader Roop Singh broke down. Now the Rajasthan government has appealed for time till this afternoon to end the standoff. Earlier, Roop Singh, Gujjar community leader, had termed the talks as fruitful but inconclusive. ''We had fruitful talks with the state government. We came here to Jaipur for the talks to maintain peace and order.

The state government has asked time till afternoon to discuss over the matter,'' Singh said after the meeting on Thursday. ''There was a good response from the government and they have promised to give us a positive answer by afternoon. We are also leaving here to ask our people to maintain peace and order,'' he added.Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Governor had summoned Chief Minister Vasundhrara Raje late on Thursday night over the stalemate.
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Protesting in Jaipur
Protesting in Jaipur
photo by: oxangu2