ST demand: Gujjars announce 24-hr sit-in

Last Updated: Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 20:31

Jaipur: The Gujjar agitation on ST quota
demand on Sunday showed signs of revival with leader Kirori Singh
Bainsla asking community members congregating for a
`mahapanchayat` not to go back but stage a sit-in to build
pressure on the Rajasthan government to get the pending
reservation bill cleared.

In the mahapanchayat, which began at Penchla mod near
Hindon city in Karuali district this afternoon, Bainsla,
spearheading the agitation for the past three years, asked
Gujjars to stay back overnight at the place for a 24 hour
`mahapadav` (sit-in).

He said the Congress government would have to provide
five per cent reservation as envisaged in the bill which was
passed by the previous BJP government. The bill was sent to
the Governor and is awaiting his assent.

Additional DGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh, who is
camping and supervising force deployment, said there was no
untoward incident so far and prohibitory orders under section
144 of CrPC are in force since yesterday in Karauli and
adjoining districts of Sawaimadhopur, Dausa, Dholpur,
Bharatpur and parts of Jaipur rural.

He said the security cover would continue till the
mahapadav, attended by nearly 4,000 Gujjars, ends. Personnel
of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary, Rapid Action Force, Riot
Control, STF are keeping strict vigil in the area.

Singh said rail, road and air services were not
affected anywhere in the state.

Twenty-seven magistrates have been deputed to overview
the law and order situation, he said.

Earlier in the day, state BJP chief Arun Chaturvedi
urged the Ashok Gehlot government that it should convince and
pursue the Governor to give his assent on the bill passed
during the Vasundhara Raje regime for Gujjars and three other
communities.

BJP will not tolerate any new amendment in the
existing bill, if the governor redirects it to the state
assembly, and ruling Congress tries to reduce the total quota
per cent of 68 per cent to 50 per cent, Chaturvedi warned.

According to the Rajasthan SC,ST, OBC, Special
Backward classes, and Economically Backward Classes Bill-2008,
there was 16 per cent reservation for SCs, 12 per cent for
STs, 21 per cent for OBCs, 5 per cent for Gurjars, Rebaris,
Gardia Lohars and Banjaras, and 14 per cent for EBCs.

The Gehlot government has assured Gujjar leaders that
it could provide five per cent reservation based on law and
Constitution, and limit of overall 50 per cent could not be
crossed in any case. A high-level ministerial meeting told a
Gujjar delegation here on July 24 that the bill would require
amendment.

Meanwhile, government envoy and Energy Minister
Jitendra Singh has appealed to the protesting Gujjar
leaders to end their `mahapadav` and come to Jaipur to meet
Gehlot for negotiations.

A Gujjar himself, Singh said a joint delegation of the
government and community leaders could meet Governor S K
Singh, who is likely to return from the US tomorrow, to
request him to expedite the bill.

"The Chief Minister is committed to provide five per
cent quota under the law and constitution to Gujjars and three
other communities," he said.

On the other hand, Gehlot reviewed with senior
officials the law-and-order situation which he found
satisfactory and incident free, an official spokesman said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 20:31

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