M A I N   N E W S

Gujjars reject Raje’s letter, stir to go on

Karawadi/Jaipur, May 26
Hopes of an early end to the standoff between the Rajasthan government and Gujjars agitating for the Scheduled Tribe status receded tonight when the community leader Kirori Singh Bainsla rejected Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s proposal for additional reservation for the community.

After a meeting of her Cabinet here, Raje wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommending 4 to 6 per cent reservation for Gujjars in the category of denotified class of tribals/nomadic tribe, Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister R S Rathore told reporters in Jaipur.

Gujjars could also be considered as economically poorer than OBC, the letter said.

On the Gujjars’ key demand for giving the ST status, the state government sought to throw the ball into the Centre’s court saying “this is a sensitive issue and the UPA government should decide it whether to accord and shift Gujjars from OBC category to Scheduled Tribe (ST) and a policy be drawn on this matter”, Rathore said quoting the state Cabinet’s decision.

Dismissing as a “farce” Raje’s letter to the Prime Minister, Bainsla, convener of the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, told PTI at Karawadi late this evening that it “does not talk about granting the ST status to Gujjars and our agitation will continue with full force”.

“The talk about Raje’s letter is a farce,” said Bainsla, who has been camping with his supporters on the railway track near Dumariya village in Bharatpur district.

Earlier in the day, signs of a possible breakthrough in the stalemate between the two sides had emerged when Bainsla appreciated the letter written by Raje to Manmohan Singh and said “we must a copy of the letter and we will call off the agitation”.

Bainsla had said “we welcome the letter written by Vasundhara Raje to the Prime Minister and I hope it commensurate with our demand”.

Asked about the change of his stand late in the evening, Bainsla said his earlier remarks were influenced by media persons giving him a “wrong” impression about Raje’s letter. However, it is only after coming to know the contents of the Chief Minister’s letter that he rejected it as a “farce”.

Earlier, the Rajasthan government today warned of commando action against protesting Gujjars if they did not give up arms immediately and release the bodies of those killed during violent agitation since May 23. — PTI



Cabinet secy holds meeting on Gujjar stir
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
Cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar today convened a meeting of senior officers of the ministry of home affairs and the Railways to take stock of the law and order situation arising out of the three-day-old Gujjar agitation.

Sources in the MHA said the Cabinet secretary directed the MHA to keep a close watch on Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and coordinate with the states to ensure that the agitation did not spread.

Disturbing reports about the agitation spreading from Rajasthan to east Delhi and Noida, which are home to the Gujjar community, continued to trickle in this evening.

Sources in MHA said prominent among those who attended the meeting were Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta, special secretary, internal security M. Kumawat and senior officers of security agencies.



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