Expressing solidarity with the former Rajasthan Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation two days ago for his alleged involvement in the fake encounter killing case of liquor smuggler Dara Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Party and various Rajput organisations held protests in Jaipur and district headquarters on Saturday.

Peaceful agitation

In Jaipur, a half-day bandh — which failed to evoke much response — was organised while senior leaders of the BJP including the former Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, joined a dharna at Bari Chauper in the Walled City. But for minor skirmishes, the agitation was peaceful. The Shekhawati towns of Churu, Tara Nagar and Pilani also observed bandhs.

Anti-people policies

Addressing the dharna, Ms. Raje and other leaders accused the Congress government in Rajasthan of misusing the CBI for settling political scores. While for all practical purposes the protests were over the arrest of Mr. Rathore for his alleged role in the killing of Dara Singh on Jaipur's outskirts on October 23, 2006, the party also added the “anti-people policies of the State government” as a reason for the day's mobilisation. There was some mild use of force by the police in Jaipur to disperse the activists of Karni Sena who were forcing shopkeepers to down shutters.