Six die as police fire on protestors in Rajasthan


Jaipur : At least six people were killed in Rajasthan Tuesday when police opened fire to disperse thousands of Gujjars who had blocked a national highway demanding that they be included in the Scheduled Tribe list.

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Though officials did not immediately confirm the firing in Dausa, about 60 km from here, witnesses at the spot said the six killed in firing also included two policemen.

The incident took place around 7.30 a.m. when about 30,000 Gujjars gathered at the Jaipur-Agra national highway and blocked it.

Police tried to stop them from doing so. When they refused to disperse, the police started hitting the crowds with batons, then fired tear gas and finally resorted to firing.

There was panic and outrage after the attack, with the crowds getting violent and damaging police vehicles. Police had to eventually back out from the scene, the witnesses said.

Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Tonk, Jaipur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur and Karauli districts while a large police contingent has been patrolling the Jaipur-Agra highway near Dausa.

The Gujjar Sangarsh Samiti had called for a blockade of all highways leading to this capital to press for their demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

One of the groups, the Gujjar Mahasabha, had postponed its agitation till July 31 after a cabinet sub-committee was formed in September to examine the quota issue.