Tension aggravated at Sanvarad village of Nagaur district on Wednesday evening when 16 policemen including district SP and an additional SP were injured in a violent faceoff between the police and protesters seeking a CBI probe into gangster Anandpal Singh's encounter. Three policemen were reportedly missing and could not be traced till late Wednesday evening.
Late night, a protester died of bullet injury at SMS Hospital. It was unclear if he died in police firing. The deceased was identified as Lal Chand Sharma, a native of Haryana.
Talks between Rajput leaders and the government have been inconclusive.
Protesters went berserk uprooting railway tracks near Sanvarad and damaging the railway station. The protesters also attempted to set a passenger train on fire which was resisted and blocked by the police.
At least 80,000 people had gathered at Sanvarad, the native village of Anandpal, on Wednesday morning for a `Shradhanjali Sabha' to show solidarity . During the meeting, the demonstrators under the banner of `Sangarsh Samiti' said they would continue the protest until their demands were not met. The other two demands are the release of nearly 150 Rajput youths arrested after Anandpal's encounter and handing over of the slain gangster's seized property to his family .
Sreerajput Karni Sena was also part of the protest.
"The violent confrontation started when the police intervened as the protesters were attempting to set a train on fire.The mob then started pelting stones and thrashing policemen in which at least 16 policemen, including Paresh Deshmukh, superintendent of police (Nagaur), Gyan ChandYadav, additional SP (Nagaur), were injured. One of the injured policemen was rushed to the SMS hospital in Jaipur," N R K Reddy , additional director general (law and order), told TOI.
Ajit Singh, director general of police, jails, said, "The talks remainedinconclusive. We have not agreed to their demands. Action would be taken against miscreants."
ADG Reddy said the police were directed not to use weapons. "After the confrontation, a large number of policemen including RAC commandos were rushed to Sanvarad village and the whole village was cordoned off. Protesters were dispersed from the railway tracks and the police were deployed on the tracks," he said.
Hospitals at Deedwana and Nagaur were full of policemen who were beaten black and blue with batons or injured in stone pelting. "This is demoralising. If our firing on a fugitive can be taken in this manner, why will we fire again? It is anarchy and whatever happened at Sanvarad is demoralising for the force," said a DG rank officer on the condition of anonymity.
Rajput leaders addressing the rally earlier in the afternoon had threatened that if their demands were not met their protest would take aviolent turn. Even during afternoon hours, protesters set afire tyres and set ablaze four RSRTC buses.
Anandpal was killed in police firing on June 24. Police force has been deployed at Jhotwara and Khatipura areas in the city which are dominatedby the Rajput community to avoid any untoward incident.