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BJP blames Gujjars turning violent for police firing

The BJP blames a section of the community that turned violent for the police firing that claimed the lives of five persons in the state.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2008 11:07 PM IST

With the Gujjar agitation again rearing its head, BJP on Friday blamed a section of the community that turned violent for the police firing, which claimed the lives of five persons in party-ruled Rajasthan.

It also sought to put the onus of granting Scheduled Tribe status to Gujjars on the Centre, saying the Rajasthan government had forwarded the report of a committee, which went into their demands, to the Central government.

"This happened as some people took law into their hands. A police jeep was set on fire. The agitation took a violent turn in which a policeman was killed," BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said when asked about the police firing in Bharatpur district.

Asked about Gujjars' demand for ST status, he said the report of the committee which went into the issue had been promptly forwarded to the Centre by the state government. "A decision on this can be taken only by the Centre," he said.

With Assembly elections barely months away, a concerned party central leadership went into a huddle to discuss the fallout of the police firing and ways and means to placate the agitating Gujjars.

Meanwhile, Congress described the police firing as "unfortunate" and suggested that the issue raised by the community was a matter having wider ramifications.

"The state government should take steps to correct the law and order situation," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.

At least five persons, including a policeman, were killed and an equal number injured in police firing when a large number of Gujjars clashed with police and uprooted rail track in Bharatpur district earlier in the day.

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