Two killed in Gujjar violence near Panipat (Lead)

May 29th, 2008 - 9:50 pm ICT by admin  

Panipat (Haryana), May 29 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 10 injured following clashes between agitating Gujjars and the police in Patti Kalyana village in Haryana’s Panipat district Thursday. Those killed have been identified as Kuldeep and Pappa. While one of them died in a stampede that followed a clash, the other died in firing.

The Gujjar agitation, to press for the community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status in Rajasthan, took a violent turn in Haryana Thursday with community members clashing with police and blocking the main highway to New Delhi.

Gujjars disrupted traffic on the busy National Highway No. 1 between Ambala and New Delhi for a while leaving hundreds of commuters stranded.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda ordered an inquiry by the commissioner of Rohtak division into the circumstances leading to the death of two people.

Expressing grief over the deaths, Hooda announced a compensation of Rs.500,000 to next of kin of each victim.

Gujjar demonstrators hurled stones and bricks at police at a village near Samalkha town in this district.

Demonstrations by Gujjars were also reported from Hissar and other districts of the state where the community has notable presence.

The state government had kept police on alert after a call by the Gujjar community for a protest in the national capital region (NCR).

Haryana surrounds Delhi on three sides, with the districts of Sonepat, Rohtak, Gurgaon and Faridabad adjoining the national capital.

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