One killed as violence sweeps Rajasthan during ‘Bharat Bandh’

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Jaipur, April 2 (IANS) At least one person was killed and many others injured, property damaged and transport affected as violence rocked various parts of Rajasthan during a ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by Dalit organisations on Monday to protest the Supreme Court verdict on the SC/ST act.

Several incidents of violence and arson were reported from the state’s main cities such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Barmer, Bharatpur and Alwar.

In Alwar, a protester, identified only as Pawan, was killed and several othes injured when police opened fire to disperse a mob, Superintendent of Police Rahul Prakash told IANS.

In Jodhpur, a police sub-inspector was seriously injured after being beaten up by protesters, a police officer said.

Boiled water was poured on a shopkeeper who tried to open the shop in Dholpur, while in Ajmer, Bhim Sena workers attacked people of all age groups.

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In Dausa, protesters indulged in violence at many places including the Collectorate, while in Chomu, several shops were damaged and vehicles torched in Sikar, officials said.

In many parts of the state, railway tracks have been uprooted.

In Jaipur, trains were stopped in Gandhinagar, blocking the Jaipur-Delhi route. Due to the violence, the plying of buses was also stopped from Sindhi Camp Bus stop to other cities. Metro services were also suspended for two hours from 11.15 a.m.

In Barmer and Bikaner, police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. Railway tracks were blocked in Bhilwara too.

A number of people have been arrested.

State police chief O.P. Galhotra appealed to people to maintain peace. He told the media that police have been instructed to tackle the situation strictly.

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“We had to resort to use power to dispose the violent crowd at many places, however, despite our efforts, in some areas, government property has been damaged,” he added.

He said that legal actions will be taken against the miscreants and cases will be filed under relevant sections.

Galhotra said that the protesters were given a chance to demonstrate peacefully but they crossed the line by getting violent and hence would be dealt with sternly.

Meanwhile, internet services have been suspended in Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Shriganganagar, Shekhawati region, Barmer and Jaisalmer and prohibitory orders imposed in Bikaner.

Galhotra said the situation was returning to normalcy in the state except a few places.

–IANS

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