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Gujjar leaders call for Delhi bandh today

Police are on high alert, especially in the border areas, reports Ravi Bajpai.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2007 05:40 IST
Ravi Bajpai
Ravi Bajpai
Hindustan Times

Gujjar leaders called for a Delhi bandh on Monday and said they would block all national highways and roads connecting the Capital with neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The call came on Sunday as Rajasthan remained calm after six days of violence and protests that have claimed over 30 lives so far. The Gujjars — currently in the list of OBCs in Rajasthan — have been demanding their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe list, besides compensation for those killed in the police firing on Tuesday.

The Delhi Police is on high alert, especially in the Gujjar-dominated border areas, where protesters have sporadically blocked roads during the last five days. Border Security Force personnel have also been deployed.

Routes to watch out for are NH-2 (near the Badarpur border), MG Road (near Ghittorni), the Delhi-Noida border (near Dallupura) and the Delhi-Ghaziabad border (near Khajoori Khas-Bhajanpura and Ghazipur).

Gujjar groups in Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon have supported the bandh. Some markets are expected to remain closed.

Additional Commissioner and Delhi Police spokesperson Deependra Pathak said the police were in touch with all prominent community leaders and had appealed to protesters not to break the law.

On Sunday, around 1,000 Gujjars from Gurgaon, Faridabad, Rewari, Narnaul, armed with hockey sticks and iron rods, tried to force their way into Shahjahanpur in Rajasthan to submit a memorandum to the district magistrate seeking the state government’s dismissal. Security personnel stopped them inside Haryana. Balwan Singh, deputy superintendent of police, Rewari, said: “We told the Gujjars the army had shoot-at-sight orders and there was no point going ahead.”

At least 15 trains from Delhi were also cancelled and 11 delayed on Sunday. Rail traffic was back to normal by the evening, said a railways spokesperson, adding that the railways were not expecting any trouble on Monday.

(With inputs from Sanjeev K Ahuja in Rewari)

First Published: Jun 03, 2007 17:00 IST