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Rioters demand lower caste status in India

Thousands of protesters have besieged India's capital New Delhi demanding their caste status be reduced to secure government benefits. Members of the Gujjar tribe blocked roads into the city and clashed with police as they demanded to be moved to the bottom of society to gain preferential treatment for university placements and government jobs.

More than 45,000 police fired tear gas as Gujjar mobs burnt tyres, hurled stones at passing cars and squatted on roads.

The rioting began last week in Rajasthan, when 39 members of the Gujjar tribe died in clashes with police while protesting the government's refusal to "downgrade" their caste.