Thirty nine people from the Gujjar community have been killed in violence in Bayana in Bharatpur district and Sikandra in Dausa district of Rajasthan since May 23, when the police opened fire on a mob at both these places on consecutive days.
The community maintains that it was victim of unprovoked firing. The police fired at the unsuspecting crowd from all sides, they say. Innocent istriwalas and women labourers working in the fields fell prey to the police bullets, they claim.
The police meanwhile, say they had no other option to open fire as the rampaging mob refused to disperse when they used of tear gas shells and rubber bullets. They also claim that some of the deceased fell to pellet injuries as opposed to bullet wounds, hinting that the Gujjars used firearms against the police and, caught in the crossfire, some of their own men were killed.
The Gujjars also allege that the police burnt alive three of their injured youth by throwing them into a flaming truck.
Another allegation was that the police got the firing orders forcefully signed by the duty magistrate much after the incident had happened, which too the police denied.
Here, we reconstruct the events of the May 24 in Sikandra in Dausa district from the accounts of eye-witnesses who were neither from the community nor the police department.
Image: The police outpost at Sikandra, which was demolished and burnt down by the mob after the police firing on May 23.
Reportage and photographs: Krishna Kumar P in Sikandra
Also read: 'Sikandra and Bayana are our Jallianwala Bagh'