Unrest in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts over death of Chatur Singh in police firing reached capital city Jaipur on Thursday with his Rajput community staging a protest outside the collectorate.
In Barmer and Jaisalmer, authorities banned mobile internet services and bulk SMS for next 48 hours from Wednesday night to stop spreading of rumours on social media.
In Jaipur, protesters raised slogans against the state government and demanded suspension of Jaisalmer superintendent of police Rajeev Prachar. They submitted a memorandum to collector Siddharth Mahajan and gave him a 10-day ultimatum to fulfil their demands.
“We want immediate suspension of Jaisalmer superintendent of police, Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the family of Chatur Singh and government jobs for his relatives. If our demands are not met, there will be state-wide agitations by the Rajput community,” said Bhanu Pratap Singh, one of the protesters.
On the intervening night of June 25 and 26, Chatur Singh was killed and two others were injured when police opened fire at a vehicle in Jaisalmer. This incident took place near Mokla village, 25 km from the district headquarters.
The Jaisalmer police have claimed that a police team had fired on a vehicle in which some people were escaping after kidnapping a constable. The police also claimed that they had fired on tyres of the vehicle to stop culprits but a bullet accidentally hit Chatur Singh, who died on the spot.
The Rajput community, to which Chatur Singh belongs, is protesting in several districts including Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur and Bikaner. Community leaders have given a deadline till July 2 to take action and warned that after that they will intensify their protest. They also gave a call for general strike on July 2 in Jaisalmer.
Politicians, including Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh, have extended their support to the protesters and demanded a CBI probe into Singh’s death. BJP MLA Manvendra Singh told HT: “I have raised the issue with BJP state unit president Ashok Parnami. I feel that a fair and independent probe should be conducted by an investigative agency outside Rajasthan.”
The ban on mobile internet services in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts did not include broadband and landline services. Besides this, Section 144 has also been imposed in the two districts.
Barmer collector Sudheer Sharma told to Hindustan Times that he has issued orders to ban all internet services and bulk SMS sent via mobile under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code with effect from June 29.
Sharma said the action was taken after the superintendent of police has informed him that some anti-social elements were spreading rumors on social media which could disturb the law and order situation and communal harmony in the district.