Dungarpur violence escalates
-- Sangeeta Pranvendra


Violence continued in the tribal areas of Dungarpur district of Rajasthan on Friday. The protesters have taken control of over 35 kms of National Highway 8 that connects Udaipur and Ahmedabad. They clashed with the police and set vehicles on fire. The police had tried to get them to vacate the highway in the morning but they retaliated by pelting stones. Seeing the tension escalate the administration shut internet. The collector tried to establish contact with the protesters and convince them to vacate the blockade.

A high-level meeting had been held at the CM residence to take stock of the situation. BTP MLA from Dungarpur Ganesh Ghoghara, Chorasi MLA Rajkumar Raut and minister Arjun Bamania were present. The government has not taken any decision on the demands.

PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara said, “All decisions will be taken as per the law and all legitimate demands will be met. Some ignorant persons are creating tension. It is unfortunate that they are creating an environment of violence.”

Dotasara added, “The government is willing to give jobs but no one has the right to take the law in their hands. No one is above the law and if the demands are lawful then the jobs will be given. The 1,167 posts that are pending are from the general quota. Students of both general and ST category have moved court. Thus inciting violence on the issue is unfortunate.”

Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly Gulab Chand Kataria said, “The protest by tribal students going on for days turned violent over the last two days. I have spoken to the CM and told him everyone has the right to protest, but no one has the right to indulge in violence and damage the property of others. If this continues, it can create a divide in society. The people who have indulged in violence should be bring to book.”

The protesters have been demanding 1,167 unreserved posts of government teachers should be reserved for the Scheduled Tribe. They had been protesting since September 17 on the Kankri Dungri, blocked the highway and attacked the police force. They burnt the vehicles of the SP, DSP and SHO while 11 cops were injured

CM Ashok Gehlot tweeted, “Violence and violent demonstration in Dungarpur is very unfortunate. Constitutional right to protest should be used. There should be peaceful demonstrations but no one has the right to take law into their hands. My appeal to the protesters is to please cooperate in maintaining peace and law and order.”

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