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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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Pressure mounts on Vasundhara
Party leaders meet Rajnath; talks with Gujjar leader today 

  • National Security Act, 1980, promulgated in three more districts.
  • Barring Jaipur-Agra highway, trafffic opens on all other highways.
  • Bodies of violence victims cremated.
  • Sachin Pilot and other Gujjar leaders also meet Rajnath and Congress central leaders.
  • Members of the Meena community burn truck carrying food and medicines for Gujjar protesters.

New Delhi, June 3 
As the impasse over Gujjar’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status in Rajasthan continued, pressure mounted on Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today with the community leaders, including her Cabinet colleague and party MLAs, alleging inaction and seeking BJP high command’s intervention.

Meanwhile, according to a PTI report from Jaipur the talks between Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and agitating Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsala would be held tomorrow.

The talks would start at 10 am tomorrow as mutually agreed between the two sides, media adviser to the CM, Brijesh Sharma said. He said since it was “too late” in the night, it was decided to hold talks tomorrow morning. Bainsala, failed to to reach Jaipur from Patoli in Dausa district till midnight.

Earlier in the day, panchayati raj minister Kalu Ram, along with six ruling party MLAs of the Gujjar community, met BJP president Rajnath Singh here and apprised him about the “ground situation” in the state.

“The government should have dealt with the issue properly but it has not done so,” Ram told reporters. Ruling party MLA Prahlad Gunjan, who accompanied Kalu Ram, accused a Rajasthan minister Kirori Lal Meena of helping his community (Meena), leaving Gujjars at the receiving end.

Other leaders of the community, cutting across party lines, also approached the BJP president and the Congress central leadership seeking their intervention to end the stalemate.

Leading a delegation to Rajnath Singh, Congress MP from Dausa Sachin Pilot, urged the BJP president to take the “political initiative to control the situation in Rajasthan where an atmosphere of violence and terror is prevailing”. Pilot, who also led the delegation to Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, alleged the Raje government had “failed” in controlling the situation and “lost the faith of the people”. He said the standoff could be resolved only through political inter vention and asked the BJP central leadership to impress upon the Raje government in the state to take steps to find an amicable solution.

He said the standoff could be resolved only through political inter vention and asked the BJP central leadership to impress upon the Raje government in the state to take steps to find an amicable solution.

The BJP president stressed on the need for collective efforts to resolve the row.

While Delhi NCP MLA Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, who was part of the delegation, said they asked Singh to replace Raje, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that no such issue was discussed in the meeting, which took place at BJP headquarters.

Besides Patel, the delegation also met Congress leaders Janardhan Dwivedi and Motilal Vora and conveyed to them the community’s concern over the “worsening situation”.

Bidhuri said the delegation asked the Congress leadership to impose President’s rule in Rajasthan as the Raje government had “failed to protect the lives and property of the people”.

“The government of the day must fulfil its duties. The government in Rajasthan is responsible for the situation, not only in the state but outside as the unrest is spreading...It must get its act together,” Pilot said.

Bhadana threatened that if the Rajasthan government does not ensure protection of Gurjars in the state, the "fire will spread". "Our villages are being burnt, men attacked and women raped and the state government is not doing anything," he alleged. PTI

Dausa/Jaipur: Fresh arson and clashes between rival groups erupted today in Rajasthan’s caste cauldron even as Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bhainsala, in a reversal of his decision, agreed to meet Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for talks to resolve the impasse over the community’s demand for ST status.

Members of the Meena community burnt a truck carrying food and medicines bags meant for thousands of Gujjar protesters at a place near Pipalekheda in Dausa district, the epicentre of the caste conflict, suspecting the bags were carrying arms.

The food was to be taken to Patauli for lakhs of Gujjar protesters who are on a sit-in protest since Tuesday.

What angered the Gujjars was although a posse of policemen was deployed at this area the Meena community members did not allow the trucks to be taken any further.

State home secretary V.S. Singh said a group of people intercepted a truck carrying food bags and burnt them down.

However, later, the police chased them away.

In a suspected retaliatory action, Gujjars in nearby villages like Manpura and Sikandara of Dausa district set on fire some shops and smashed the glass panes of other commercial establishments.

Barring these two incidents, other parts of Rajasthan remained largely peaceful today even as the state government brought three more districts under the ambit of National Security Act, taking the total number of such districts to 14. — PTI

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Call for Delhi bandh today
Security tightened

New Delhi, June 3
Bringing their agitation for the ST status in Rajasthan to the national capital, Gujjars today called for a shutdown in Delhi tomorrow and threatened to block all entry points.

As the capital braced for the shutdown, the Delhi police today warned protesters against resorting to traffic blockade, vandalism or attempt to damage property.

Gujjar leaders held a series of meetings, including a 'Maha Panchayat' (major congregation), here to decide the future course of action in the wake of continuing stand-off with the Rajasthan government.

After the meetings, they called for a shutdown in Delhi tomorrow, which they claimed would be "peaceful".

Congress MP and Gurjar leader Avtar Singh Bhadana, after a meeting with some community leaders, said entry points to Delhi would be blocked as part of the bandh to demand the Vasundhara Raje government's dismissal and imposition of Central rule in Rajasthan.

He claimed the Shiv Sena, the Republican Party of India and the Rashtriya Lok Dal had supported the bandh call. — PTI

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Advani for all-party meeting

Ahmedabad, June 3
Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, referring to the Gujjar community agitation in Rajasthan, today said all the political parties should sit together and decide the parameters on which a community should come under any caste or tribe category.

"I asked the Prime Minister yesterday to convene an all party meeting to decide which caste should belong to which category," he told reporters on the sidelines of a Sindhi community function here.

"There should be a consensus among political parties regarding parameters on who should be included in Scheduled Caste or Schedule Tribes or Other Backward Class," he said. — PTI

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