The highway was cleared following a meeting between a delegation of the protesters, and public representatives, including Tribal Area Development Minister Arjun Singh Bamniya, and officials.
Former Udaipur MP Raghuveer Meena said that the meeting on Sunday was held in a positive manner and the focus was on restoring peace and law and order in the area. (Photo source: ANI)
The situation improved in Rajasthan’s Dungarpur district on Sunday after the Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway, which was blocked by candidates of a recruitment exam for three days, was cleared, even as the death toll in the police action during violent protests on the previous day increased to two.
The highway was cleared following a meeting between a delegation of the protesters, and public representatives, including Tribal Area Development Minister Arjun Singh Bamniya, and officials. Police said that traffic movement resumed on the highway in the night.
Besides this, agitators also ended their dharna in Kankri Dungari area near the highway after a meeting with the minister and other public representatives, and officials. The protesters were demanding that 1,167 vacant general quota seats be filled from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.
“The situation by and large remained peaceful today. The highway in Dungarpur is clear and traffic movement has resumed. Additional forces are deployed in the area to maintain law and order,” Inspector General of Police (Udaipur range) Binita Thakur said. However, incidents of stone-pelting took place in Rishabhdev and Jhadol area of adjoining Udaipur district, Thakur said.
Director General of Police (DGP) Bhupendra Singh said in a statement on Sunday night that police had to use force and open fire on Saturday evening in which two persons were killed and as many injured. The injured are out of danger, he said.
Last night, police had said that one person died in firing but it was not clear whether the death occurred in police firing or firing by the protestors. Singh informed 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 police control room said that stones and other obstacles on the highway in Dungarpur were removed so that traffic movement can be resumed. Several torched vehicles, stones and boulders were there on a 20-km stretch of the highway.
Former Udaipur MP Raghuveer Meena said that the meeting on Sunday was held in a positive manner and the focus was on restoring peace and law and order in the area. “After the meeting, we conducted a march on the highway to review the situation. Now the things are under control in Dungarpur,” he said.
Violence erupted in the region on Thursday when the candidates of teachers’ recruitment examination-2018 blocked the highway, pelted stones at police, damaged several properties and torched vehicles demanding filling of 1,167 vacant posts of general quota with ST candidates.
On Sunday, the meeting was held in Kherwara Panchayat which 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,” Minister Bamaniya told reporters.
The state government had sent DG (crime) M L Lather, Additional DG of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Dinesh M N and Jaipur police commissioner Anand Srivastava to Dungarpur on Saturday night after the situation worsened.
Dinesh M N and other officers also conducted march on the highway on Sunday after the meeting to restore peace. “The situation here is now peaceful. No violence occurred today,” he said. In Jaipur, DGP Singh reviewed the situation and took feedback from senior officials.
”Two companies of Rapid Action Force 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.