People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 21

June 08 , 2008



Demo Protests Firing On Gujjar Agitationists

CPI(M) Leaders Visit Pilupura, Sikandara

THE Rajasthan state committee of the CPI(M) has strongly condemned the recent terrorist bomb explosions in the state capital, Jaipur, and the killing of 39 persons in the police firings against Gujjar agitationists. To register protest against both these episodes of violence, the party organised demonstrations district as well as tehsil headquarters. At Jaipur, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the state's governor, demanding the resignation of the BJP controlled state government.

As soon as the news of the firing was received, CPI(M) state secretary Vasudev and MLA, Amra Ram, rushed to visit Pilupura and Sikandara, met the Gujjar leader Kirodi Singh Bainsla and paid homage to the deceased agitationists.

One may recall that 69 persons were killed during the serial bomb blasts in the Sanganeri Gate, Chandpole, Chhoti Chaupad, Badi Chaupad, Manak Chowk and Jauhari Bazar areas of Jaipur on May 13. Soon after, the state witnessed a resurrection of the Gujjar movement denmanding the ST status for the community. The movement took a violent turn courtesy the myopic policy of the state government, and the latter rubbed salt on the wounds by ordering its police force to open fire against the agitation. The two rounds of firing, on May 23 and 24, claimed 39 lives in the Bayana tehsil --- 17 in Pilupura and 22 in Sikandara.

Through its militant demonstrations, the CPI(M) paid homage to the deceased agitationists and deplored the state government's dismal failure in foiling the terrorist activities despite prior warning. Moreover, after the serial explosions, the communal government began a drive to harass the people originally hailing from Bihar and West Bengal, in the name of expulsion of the Bangladeshis from Jaipur and the state. The CPI(M) condemned this line of action as well.

Mass meeting followed the CPI(M) demonstrations in all districts including Jaipur, Sikar, Churu, Hanumangarh, Ganganagar, Bikaner, Tonk, Udaipur, Kota and Dungarpur. The speakers accused the state government that it had miserably failed in foiling the terrorist conspiracy. They also said the BJP, which controls the state government, was out to divide the state's people in the name of caste and community, in order to cash upon such divisions in the fast approaching elections.

At Jaipur, Vasudev, Amra Ram, state CITU secretary Ravindra Shukla, party district secretary Suresh Vyas and state CITU vice president Waqar-ul-Ahad, addressed the meeting held at the DM office. They strongly warned the state government against dubbing the people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal as Bangladeshis and harassing them. A large number of women also participated in the meeting; these included several Bengali speaking women who were faving police harassment in the name of being Bangladeshis.

Those demonstrating at the DM office in Tonk, demanded steps for prevention of any recurrence of terrorist crimes in the state. A delegation, led by CPI(M) state secretary Akhtar Jung, submitted a memorandum to the DM, be forwarded to the governor.   

As for the two CPI(M) leaders that proceeded to Pilupura and Sikandara, the police tried to stop them at several points. However, they surreptitiously made their way through a number of villages and finally reached Pilupura after covering a distance of some 250 kilometres. Both the leaders met the Gujjar agitationists as well as the common people who told them the police had resorted to the use of tear gas shells and firing without any prior warning whatsoever. Moreover, they left on the spot and unattended the bodies of the deceased and those injured. This has generated among the people of the area a lot of resentment against the state government and its police. The people are also angry over the fact that no people's representative, except the CPI(M)'s Amra Ram, had visited the area. Later the police also prevented Sachin Pilot, a Congress MP, from going to the incident site.

Having visited Pilupura, the two CPI(M) leaders went to Sikandara as well. Here, they came to know that the police had fired upon the people after chasing them up to 3 kilometres distance. This, they said, has no parallel in the 6 decades of independent India's history.

The CPI(M) has demanded that the state government, which killed 30 persons in only 2 days while seeking to suppress one and the same movement, must immediately go.