New Delhi, India — The Rajasthan state government resigned Saturday, two days after police shot to death a popular prince. Protests over the slaying also spread to neighboring states, official reports said.
A new state government headed by Miralal Devpura was installed in Rajasthan within hours after Chief Minister Shiv Charan Mathur submitted the resignation of his Cabinet, claiming “‘full moral responsibility for the sad tragedy.”
News reports said Mathur resigned on the advice of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who did not want the slaying to mar the chances of his governing Congress party in upcoming state assembly elections.
Authorities said police killed ‘‘Raja’’ Man Singh, the son of a late Maharaja, and two supporters Thursday in a shootout. Officials said police were trying Man Singh because he had rammed his jeep into the chief minister’s helicopter earlier in the day.
The prince’s supporters said police shot him six times from behind.
Man Singh, the local strongman, was seeking his eighth consecutive term in the state legislature as an independent candidate. He reportedly rammed Mathur’s helicopter because Congress party workers tore down Man Singh’s campaign posters and banners in Deeg, 85 miles southeast of New Delhi.
Meanwhile, authorities ordered schools and colleges closed in parts of Uttar Pradesh state Saturday as rioters protesting Man Singh’s death at tacked government offices and buses, the United News of India said. Violent protests also were reported in Haryana state.
The Indian Express, the country’s largest circulation English language newspaper, said Man Singh’s home district of Bharat pur known for its bird sanctuary was under a virtual police siege.
Three Killed in Police Firing
Three persons were killed when the crowds clashed with the police. They were protesting against what they called murder of Raja Man Singh by the police. The police sources said that
The firing was resorted to when the crowds became unruly and tried to assault the police.
Supporters of Raja Man Singh assert that police conspired to eliminate him and opened fire at his jeep killing him and his two companions on the spot when he offered himself for arrest.
Police sources, however, maintain that Raja Man Singh was armed and he opened fire at the police officials who tried to stop his jeep. The police returned the fire in which Raja Man Singh and his two companions were killed.
Article extracted from this publication >> March 1, 1985