Rajasthan violence leaves 1 dead, five injured; state seeks RAF from Centre
One person was killed and at least five were injured in violence that broke out in Udaipur’s Kherwara town on Saturday evening as protesters against vacant seats for teachers’ recruitment went on a rampage, damaging properties and torching vehicles in the area while the police fired rubber bullets to control the situation, officials said.
The Rajasthan government has sought Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel from the Centre to handle the situation after three days of protests in southern parts of the desert state.
Violence erupted across districts on Thursday when the candidates of teachers recruitment examination-2018 blocked the Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway, pelted stones at the police, damaged properties and torched vehicles demanding filling of 1,167 general vacant posts with Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. The violence continued on Friday and incidents occurred on Saturday as well.
The state government on Saturday rushed three senior police personnel – director-general of police (DGP) (crime) ML Lathar; Jaipur police commissioner Anand Shrivastwa; and additional director-general of police (ADG), anti-corruption bureau (ACB), Dinesh MN – to Udaipur to bring the situation under control.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot also appealed the protesters to maintain calm, and end the demonstration, saying his administration is ready to meet all the legitimate demands, according to a statement. Governor Kalraj Mishra spoke to Gehlot on phone in Jaipur and called principal secretary (home) Abhay Kumar and ADG (law and order) Saurabh Srivastava at Raj Bhawan, directing them to control the situation, it said.
On direction of the chief minister, former Udaipur MP Raghuveer Meena and other public representatives of Dungarpur district met a delegation of agitating candidates to resolve the matter on Saturday.“We have appealed the agitators to end the violence while assuring them that the government will do what is legitimate to meet their demand. The meeting was held in a positive manner,” Meena told news agency PTI.
Internet services were suspended in four districts -- Dungarpur, Udaipur, Banswara and Pratapgarh -- of southern Rajasthan on Saturday and Section 144 (prohibition of gathering of five or more persons) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was imposed.
Police said one of the protesters, identified as Tarun Ahari, succumbed to his injuries. It is unclear how Ahari was injured in the protest.
At least six trucks, five buses, four police vehicles, nine cars, nine tempos and a motorcycle have been torched in the region over the last three days. Over 1,000 rubber bullets were fired by the police to bring the situation under control.
Demonstrators have also continued protesting at NH-8 . Between Friday midnight and Saturday night, eight trucks were torched in the Kakra Doongri area on NH-8. Protesters also vandalised over a dozen shops.
(With inputs from PTI)