Fire rages, borders sealed
The Rajasthan government sealed the state's borders with neighbouring Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday in a bid to check the violent Gujjar agitation spreading beyond Rajasthan on the eve of the anniversary of the community’s agitation for ST status.
The measure was taken as the stalemate between the Gujjar leaders and the Vasundhara Raje government continued. Raje conveyed to the agitators that granting ST status can be done only by the Central government and advised them to take up the matter with the UPA government.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar expressed optimism about the current crisis being resolved soon. "The state government has taken several steps to tackle the current tangle, which might be resolved within 2 to 3 days," he said.
But Rajasthan Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti spokesperson Roop Singh was not so hopeful. "The state government's inflexible attitude is responsible for the current imbroglio. Nowhere in the world are dead bodies kept in custody for several days but the Rajasthan government is doing it," he said. The reference was to bodies of Gujjars killed in police firing in various places. The bodies are lying in mortuaries, with no post-mortems being conducted on them. "The government is not permitting post-mortems on the bodies lying at (Jaipur's) Sawai Man Singh Hospital," Roop Singh said.
Another organisation, the Akhil Bharatiya Gurjar Parishad has given a call for a Jaipur Bandh, including a gherao of the state secretariat, on Thursday to demand release of the bodies lying in government hospitals. The National Security Act continued to be imposed in the state's 15 districts and the day passed off without any reports of violence.
Ten trains passing through Rajasthan were cancelled for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday and several others were diverted, following the violent agitation.