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Sri Ganganagar farmers to observe 'Black Diwali'

Jaipur, Oct 20 (IANS) Farmers in Rajasthan's Sri Ganganagar district have decided to observe 'Black Diwali' Saturday to protest the state government's 'oppressive' attitude towards their demand for more water for irrigation.

Friday, October 20, 2006 | 7:08:52 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Jaipur, Oct 20 (IANS) Farmers in Rajasthan's Sri Ganganagar district have decided to observe 'Black Diwali' Saturday to protest the state government's 'oppressive' attitude towards their demand for more water for irrigation.

'How can we have Diwali without our demands being met with,' said Rameshwar Chaudhary, a farmer. 'We want the government to listen to our demands and release arrested leaders and provide us more water for irrigation,' he added.

Meanwhile, the situation continued to be volatile in Rawala town after the administration withdrew the relaxation in curfew and beefed up security in the town after clashes between police and farmers became violent.

'The situation turned violent when the police went to the town to make certain preventive arrests. This angered the farmers and they fought pitched battles with the police,' a local official said.

'We had to resort to lathi charge to control the violent mob,' said a police official.

Over 12 people, including four women, were reportedly injured in the cane charge.

'We will review the situation before we give any more relaxations in curfew,' said Navdeep Singh, inspector general of Police (Law and Order).

'Elsewhere, no untoward incident has been reported since Thursday,' Singh said.

On Tuesday, indefinite curfew was clamped in Ghadsana and Rawala towns in the district.

The administration had to call in the army late Monday as the protesting farmers in Ghadsana became violent and fought a pitched battle with police, in which over 100 people were injured.

Earlier that day, the police had to resort to cane charge, use tear gas shells and fire rubber bullets to control the stone-throwing mobs after which both the towns were handed over to the army.

Two years ago, clashes between farmers and the police in Sri Ganganagar had led to police firing which left eight farmers dead.

Copyright : Indo-Asian News Service
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