Gujjars call off quota stir

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 23:02

Jaipur: Gujjars, demanding five per cent
quota in jobs in Rajasthan, tonight called off their 17-day
agitation after the state government assured them that it will
complete within six months the quantifiable data collection
for the purpose.

"I have called off the agitation. I am satisfied with
what the state government has offered to us," Gujjar leader
Kirori Singh Bainsla, spearheading the agitation, told
reporters after holding talks with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
and a Committee of Ministers appointed by the state
government.
Bainsla and his team agreed to the government`s
assurance that it will complete the quantifiable data
collection within six months and keep four per cent backlog of
services.

"The Government has promised that the quantifiable
data shall be ready within six months. Four per cent backlog
will be kept while one per cent reservation will continue.
Many other facilities for students have also been promised,"
he said after signing an agreement with the government in this
regard.

Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal said the government will
file a review petition in the Rajathan High Court for
considering the five per cent reservation under SBC to
Gujjars, Gadia Lohar, Raika-Rebari, and Banjara in Rajasthan
till the quantifiable data exercise is completed.

He said that the government will complete the
quantifiable data collection within six months and submit
it to the OBC commission as directed by the High Court on
December 22 last year.

A delegation of around 40 members led by Bainsla first
held a meeting with the committee of ministers comprising Home
Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Energy Minister Jitendra Singh,
himself a Gujjar, and Transport Minister B K Sharma for over 7
hours.

After the meeting, the Gujjar leaders signed an
agreement with the state government and later met Chief
Minister at the CMO and called off the agitation.

According to the agreement, the government has
promised to dispose the cases lodged against the agitators.

A three-member committee headed by Additional Chief
Secretary (Home) will decide upon 170 cases in which
chargesheets have been filed in courts.
The committee will take decision within two months on
such cases. Remaining 254 cases lodged during 2010-2011 will
also be disposed within the same duration.

The government said that one per cent reservation to
these communities will continue (under the reservation ceiling
of 50 per cent) and four per cent vacancies will be kept
reserved for Special Backward Class and will be filled later
accordingly.

The government has already announced to start
recruitment on 1 lakh vacant posts in the state services and
now four per cent (4,000) shall be kept reserved for SBC
category.

After completing the data collection exercise as
directed by the HC, a special recruitment drive would be
started to fill these vacancies within three months, the
agreement said.

The agitation, which began on December 20, has seen
the Gujjars blocking several rail and road routes, causing
hardship to people and loss to various industries in the
state.

The agitators have been blocking Mumbai-Delhi rail
tracks at Pilukapura in Bharatpur, and Jaipur-Agra National
Highway at Dausa and several other roads in support of their
demand.

The state government assured the Gujjars to send the
provisions of the reservation act to the Center for its
inclusion in the IXth schedule of the Constitution.

It was also assured to dispose the pending cases of
government services to the kin of those killed.

The government said that it has already disposed 58
such cases and four cases are pending in which the kin of
deceased is to be given government job.

Pending cases of compensation to injured and pension
to those permanently disabled during the previous agitations
will also be disposed, expeditiously.

No fundamental provision of Devnarayan Board will be
changed and the decision to increase its budget will be taken
in the next state budget 2011-12 to carry out developmental
works in the gujjar populated area.

Increasing the scholarship to the students of SBC,
opening up of new schools, colleges and other educational
institions, hostles, expansion of medical facilities in the
Gujjar populated area were other assurances made by the
government to which Gujjars agreed.

The written agreement was signed by Kirori Singh
Bainsla, Coordinator of Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti and
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) PK Dev.

11 Gujjar delegates also signed the agreement as
members.

Roop Singh, aide of Bainsla, said that the agitators
squatting on the Delhi-Mumbai tracks at Pilukapura, have
been asked to vacate the rail trakcs.

The Jaipur-Agra national highway and several other
interior routes in Bharatpur, Karauli and nearby places will
also be unoccupied shortly, he said.

PTI
The agitation began on December 20 and Gujjars led by
Bainsla occupied the Delhi-Mumbai rail tracks at Pilukapura in
Bharatpur district.

Several interior roads in Karauli, Bharatpur, Dholpur,
Alwar, Sawaimadhopur and Jhunjhunu districts were also blocked
by the agitators.

However, after few days, the agitators unoccupied
railway tracks in Dausa, Bhilwara, Tonk and several roads, but
kept closed the rail tracks at Pilukapura in Bharatpur and at
Malarna in Sawaimadhopur, Jaipur-Agra highway at Dausa and a
few routes in Bharatpur and Karauli.
Jaipur-Ajmer highway and Jaipur-Kota highway were also
blocked for several hours during the agitation at Ajmer and
Bundi districts respectively, and were reopened following the
intervention of civil administration and police authorities.
The state government had called in forces from the
Center besides its own deployment but no untoward incident
took place during the agitation and it passed off peacefully.
However, it caused huge loss to railways, tourism,
transport and other industries in the state and caused
hardship to people.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot congratulated the
agitators after the stir and said that the government will
fulfil its promises and committment.

"I congratulate Gujjars that they called off the
agitation. They were squatting on rail tracks in the severe
cold which was painful for us also. We will fulfil our
promises made to the Gujjars," Gehlot said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 23:02

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