Friday, December 31, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Gujjars to talk with Rajasthan Govt on Friday

Gujjars to talk with Rajasthan Govt on Friday
Posted on Dec 31, 2010 at 12:15pm IST

Jaipur: An amicable solution to the Gujjar agitation could be in sight
with further talks between representatives of the community, demanding
five per cent quota in government jobs, and the Rajasthan government
expected on Friday afternoon.

"We have decided to send a 21-member delegation to Jaipur to hold
further talks with the state government officials," Roop Singh,
spokesperson of Gujjar Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, the body that is
spearheading the agitation, said.

Talks are likely to be held sometime late in the afternoon.

Gujjars to talk with Rajasthan Govt on Friday

Roop Singh said the talks in Karwade in Bharatpur district on Thursday
between a Gujjar delegation and state government representatives were
positive and cordial.

"We were satisfied with the government's viewpoint on several issues,
including taking back cases against Gujjars and providing compensation
to the family members of Gujjars killed in police firing. But the five
per cent reservation issue is yet to be resolved," he said.

Said GS Sandhu, Rajasthan government's principal secretary for urban
development: "The talks were held in a cordial atmosphere. We are
optimistic that soon an amicable solution would be reached."

Sandhu, who is also looking after the home department, is a member of
the state government delegation deputed to hold talks with the

"We have conveyed to the delegation that the government is committed
to provide them five per cent reservation, but in the light of the
high court judgment it would have to go through the legal process," he

He also described as "positive" the talks in Karwade village.

The government had earlier communicated to the Gujjars that the high
court had given it a year's time but it "wished to finish the task as
early as possible".

"The government is already giving one per cent reservation and keeping
aside four per cent for them [Gujjars]," an official said.

As efforts were made to break the impasse, the Gujjars continued with
their agitation that started on December 20.

Train services between Delhi and Mumbai remained affected Friday
morning as the protesters continued to squat on the railway tracks
near Bayana in Bharatpur district, about 150 km from state capital

Gujjars decided on a rail blockade December 20, after holding a
'mahapanchayat' (community conclave) in Bayana. Hundreds of protesters
squatted on the rail tracks in Piloo Ka Pura, forcing the railways to
divert or cancel a few trains.

However, Gujjars late on Wednesday evening lifted their siege from
some of the sectors, including Jaipur-Delhi and Jaipur-Agra rail

In July 2009, the Rajasthan government announced five per cent
reservation for Gujjars and 14 per cent for the economically backward
classes, taking the total reservation in the state for various
sections of society to 68 per cent.

Since the total reservation had exceeded the Supreme Court cap of 50
per cent, the high court in October 2009 stayed the quota in jobs and
educational institutions in the state for Gujjars and the economically
backward classes.

In a ruling Dec 22, 2010, the high court struck down the job quota for Gujjars.

Gujjars, demanding reservation for better educational and job
prospects, had between 2006 and 2008 staged violent protests, in which
many lives were lost.

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