JODHPUR, India (AFP) - The death toll in two days' of clashes between police and an ethnic group demanding special government aid in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan has gone up to 31, a minister said Saturday. While 16 people were killed on Friday, another 15 died Saturday as the unrest spread, Rajasthan state home minister Gulab Chand Kataria told reporters in the provincial capital Jaipur. Another dozen people were injured in the protests by thousands from the local Gujjar community, who want the government to classify them as "Scheduled Tribes" entitled to government jobs and education benefits. "Today (Saturday), police fired on protesters who turned violent and set fire to a police station in the afternoon," Kataria said. "In the police firing, 15 people were killed," he said, noting that extra security personnel had been rushed to the affected areas to restore order. Authorities have restricted people from gathering in large numbers in 11 of the state's 32 districts to quell the protests, Kataria said. The Gujjars, traditionally shepherds who make up about five percent of Rajasthan's population, called off massive protests last year after the government promised to form a panel to study their case. The panel rejected their demand to be included in the category but recommended the formation of another board to give them special assistance.The 2007 unrest claimed 28 lives. Meanwhile, India's gleaming new Bangalore international airport opened Saturday despite protests by residents and businesses who said getting there by road could prove a nightmare. The state-of-the-art 630-million-dollar facility sprang into life after a court threw out pleas by local people to keep the existing airport open for commercial flights. The arrival of Indian Airlines flight IC609 from Mumbai, carrying 110 passengers and crew, signalled the opening of the airport 36 kilometres north of the choked centre of the high-tech southern city. "The airport will be fully functional, offering world-class facilities for domestic and international passengers," said a spokesman for the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) consortium which built the facility. But the government has not delivered on promises to widen clogged access roads or build a dedicated rail link to and from the city meaning the commute could take much longer than a short-haul flight. Many residents and companies in Bangalore voiced fierce opposition to the closing of the old state-run airport, built 50 years ago, which lies just 10 kilometres from the city centre. From Electronic City in south Bangalore the hub of India's information technology industry it could take a four-hour drive to reach the new airport, opponents say. Flying time to the nearby southern city of Chennai is just 40 minutes. "It's a pity the government didn't do anything about connectivity to the airport," said Marcel Hungerbuehler, chief operations officer at BIAL, a consortium that included Unique Zurich Airport, Siemens of Germany and Larsen and Toubro of India. As Bangalore became India's IT hub and the world's back-office for outsourcing and off-shoring, the old airport witnessed a phenomenal rise in domestic and international passenger traffic, choking its limited capacity. But "it will be a nightmare driving to the (new) airport," said N. Reghuraj, the head of the local chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry, who flew out of Bangalore's old airport twice a week. "The passengers are not happy, the cargo guys are not happy." "BIAL has done its job," said Kapil Kaul, the India head of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Civil Aviation. "The other stakeholders, mainly the state government, have almost totally ignored their responsibility of providing logistics," he said. "People don't want to spend four hours on the roads commuting from the south to the north of Bangalore," said G.R. Gopinath, head of Deccan, India's biggest budget carrier. He has said he plans to start a helicopter shuttle from the city to the new airport for passengers who can afford to cough up 4,000 rupees (100 dollars) for the ride. India needs to spend 9.6 billion dollars over five years to improve the country's airports, according to the Airports Authority of India, which expects 100 million people to fly in India this year compared with 43 million in 2003-2004. Large infrastructure projects routinely run into major delays in India. However, the Bangalore airport was built in a record 36 months under a public-private partnership and is equipped to handle more than 12 million passengers a year till 2012.