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Army called in to bolster forces in Bharatpur

Hundreds of Gujjar protestors stayed put at the Bayana-Hindaun road near Pilu Pura village blocking traffic as well as rail services, report Avishek G Dastidar & Pradeep Sharma.
Hindustan Times | By Avishek G Dastidar & Pradeep Sharma, Pilu Pura (bharatpur)
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2008 12:10 AM IST

Hundreds of Gujjar protestors stayed put at the Bayana-Hindaun road near Pilu Pura village 60 km from Bharatpur blocking traffic as well as rail services as the place remained virtually cut off from the rest of the country for the second consecutive day on Saturday.

"Ground-zero" where the firing had taken place on Friday remained tense with the Army, the Rapid Action Force and Rajasthan's Special Task Force, apart from the armed Rajasthan Police being deployed in the morning. A head-on collision with the protestors seemed imminent.

The bodies of 12 of the 15 fellow protestors who were killed in the police firing on Friday lay surrounded by grieving family members at the spot.

Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsala, leader of the Rajasthan Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samity, refused cremation of the bodies and kept them at the spot of the firing for 24 hours demanding a post mortem. The district administration sent a team of doctors to take away the bodies by the evening.

Violence continued on Day-2 as angry mobs uprooted rail tracks once again near Bayana town and torched sundry bushes on the fields nearby. An overbridge on the Gambhir river on the Bayana-Hindaun road served as a line of control as protestors largely stayed put beyond the bridge at Pilu Pura village, while the armed forces, their water canons and other vehicles stopped short of it.

By the evening, the protestors' camps were abuzz with rumours that the police were planning to nab Bainsala against whom a warrant is already out. Any attempt to arrest the Colonel or dislodge the protestors might result in a bloodbath, warned protestors.

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