CPI-M condemns police firing on Gujjars

May 25th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Rajasthan’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was “solely responsible” for the killings of Gujjars in the state, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Sunday. Condemning the police firings on agitating Gujjars Friday and Saturday that led to the deaths of at least 35 people, the CPI-M politburo said: “The Vasundhara Raje government which has earned notoriety in police firings is solely responsible for the present killings.

“The BJP government has not learnt any lesson from last year’s incidents and completely bungled in tackling the agitation,” a statement issued by the politburo said.

The communists also asked the Raje government to “immediately stop police repression” and talk to the leaders of the agitating community for an amicable settlement.

The Gujjars, holding protests to press their demand for Scheduled Tribe status, Sunday refused the state government’s offer of talks.

The army was called Saturday to control the violence in some places in Rajasthan as agitators damaged buses, vandalized government property, and blocked roads and rail tracks.

The Gujjars, an ethnic group who rear livestock and earn a living by selling milk and other dairy products, are demanding that the community be included in the Scheduled Tribes list so that it gets better education and job opportunities.

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