Teachers' exam protests in Rajasthan: Two dead in firing, says police; protesters clear highway after meeting govt officials

DGP Bhupendra Singh said in a statement on Sunday night that police had to use force and opened fire on Saturday evening, in which two persons were killed and as many injured. The injured are out of danger, he added.

FP Staff September 27, 2020 23:59:39 IST
Teachers' exam protests in Rajasthan: Two dead in firing, says police; protesters clear highway after meeting govt officials

Rajasthan Minister Arjun Singh Bamaniya, other officials and leaders held a meeting with a delegation of protesters in Rajasthan's Dungarpur on Sunday. ANI

Two persons were killed and two others were injured on Saturday as police opened fire on protesters agitating over the recruitment of government school teachers in Rajasthan's Dungarpur district, a top police official said on Sunday, as per PTI.

Violence erupted in the region on Thursday when candidates of the teachers' recruitment examination-2018 blocked the Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway, pelted stones at police, damaged several properties and torched vehicles demanding that 1,167 vacant posts of general quota be filled with Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates.

Director-General of Police (DGP) Bhupendra Singh said in a statement on Sunday night that police had to use force and opened fire on Saturday evening, in which two persons were killed and as many injured, reported PTI.

The injured are out of danger, he added.

On Saturday, police had said that one person died in the firing but it was not clear whether the death occurred in police firing or firing by the protestors.

Singh further said that two companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and six companies of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) have been deployed in the area and 24 cases have been lodged in Dungarpur and Udaipur districts in connection with the violence.

The protesters torched over 25 vehicles, ransacked several shops, hotels and a petrol pump, a police official said earlier on Sunday. There were also reports of protesters entering residential areas.

The highway which was blocked by the protesters was cleared on Sunday, following a meeting between a delegation of the protesters and Tribal Area Development Minister Arjun Singh Bamniya, other public representatives and officials.

"The situation by and large remained peaceful today. The highway in Dungarpur is clear for traffic movement now," Inspector General of Police (Udaipur range) Binita Thakur said on Sunday.

However, incidents of stone-pelting took place in Rishabhdev and Jhadol area of adjoining -Udaipur district, Thakur said, adding that police forces were trying to control the situation in those areas as well.

The police control room said that stones and other obstacles on the highway in Dungarpur are being removed to facilitate the resumption of traffic movement.

Several torched vehicles, stones and boulders are there on a 20 kilometre stretch of the highway.

Former Udaipur MP Raghuveer Meena said that the situation was under control in Dungarpur after the meeting and traffic would resume from Monday.

"Traffic will resume on the highway by tomorrow. After the meeting, which was held in a positive manner today, we conducted a march on the highway to review the situation. Now the things are under control in Dungarpur," he said.

The meeting in Kherwara Panchayat was attended by public representatives, including sitting and former MPs and MLAs of various parties, senior police and district administration officials, community leaders and members of the delegation of the agitators.

"We have appealed to the protesters to stop the violence and restore peace. There was general consensus on this in the meeting. All public representatives of the area were present in the meeting," Bamniya told reporters.

The state government had sent DG (crime) ML Lather, Additional DG of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Dinesh MN and Jaipur police commissioner Anand Srivastava to Dungarpur on Saturday night after the situation worsened.

Dinesh MN, who also conducted a march on the highway with other officers on Sunday, said the situation was peaceful and no violence had taken place on Sunday.

In Jaipur, DGP Singh reviewed the situation and took feedback from senior officials. "Two companies of the RAF were deployed in the area today. Three senior police officers were sent to Dungarpur Saturday night and the situation at present is peaceful," he said.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot too reviewed the situation and held discussions with the officials.

BJP attacks Congress govt

Meanwhile, the BJP lashed out at the Congress government in the state, saying it had made no efforts to resolve the situation.  BJP spokesperson and Lok Sabha MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore accused the Congress government of all-round failure, alleging that the government was either unaware or made no communication even though the agitation was going on for several days.

Rathore said the Congress had made promises like unemployment allowance and jobs during the 2018 Assembly polls but did not bring any new vacancies except those created by the previous BJP government.

He asked the state government to reach out to unemployed protesters to defuse the crisis and said those who have infiltrated their protests and creating violence should be unmasked.

With inputs from PTI

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