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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 30, 2007
Talks between Rajasthan Government and Gujjars breakdown(lead:Gujjars)
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Talks between Rajasthan Government and Gujjars breakdown(lead:Gujjars)

Talks between the Government of Rajasthan and the states Gujjar community over the granting of Scheduled Tribe status broke down on Wednesday with the former demanding at least a fortnight to deliver a decision on the matter.

Jaipur, May 30 : Talks between the Government of Rajasthan and the state's Gujjar community over the granting of Scheduled Tribe status broke down on Wednesday with the former demanding at least a fortnight to deliver a decision on the matter.

The Gujjar leadership, however, said that withdrawing their agitation was not a possibility till their demand was met.

The Jaipur-Agra Highway continues to be blocked, and the Gujjars are refusing to cremate the bodies of the 14 killed in Tuesday's police firing till the State Government compensates their families with Rs five lakh each.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has convened a Cabinet meeting to find a solution to the present impasse.

Eastern Rajasthan, particularly the Gujjar-dominant Dausa District continues to remain tense, a day after the violent clashes.

Nearly 600 Rajasthan Armed Constabulary personnel have been deployed on the Jaipur-Agra Highway, and the army could take out a flag march later today.

The protests began on Tuesday in support of the Gujjar community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status as promised by the BJP. The agitation has also got politicised with Chief Minister Raje saying she did not make any such promise and that decision could only be taken by the Centre.

Raje termed the clashes as 'unfortunate', but did not announce compensation for the victims. Raje visited the injured, who are admitted in Sawai Mansingh Hospital in Jaipur.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress have traded charges and counter-charges over the incident.

The Gujjars plan to hold a mahapanchayat or mass meeting near Bharatpur during the day.

Following the disturbances in the state, trains from Jaipur-Jodhpur to Delhi via Dausa-Alwar-Rewari-Bandikui route have been diverted via Sawai Madhopur and Mathura to Delhi in the wake of violence at Dausa.

Besides these, four trains - Asharam Express from and to Ahmedabad, Motihari-Porbandar Express and Haridwar - Ahmedabad Express, have been delayed by four hours to 14 hours.

The turmoil in the state has also hit traffic, with one of the main highways - the Delhi-Jaipur highway jammed.

Hundreds of passengers, especially from Delhi, have been affected. Most buses to Rajasthan from Delhi have been cancelled for the moment.

In New Delhi, dozens of passengers waited for hours at the Bikaner House bus stands for the highway to open up for traffic. They appeared harassed and fatigued.

"There is no proper information as to when the route will open and there are no other arrangements either. No, forget about air conditioners, there is no provision of drinking water either. We only want that the route should be opened quickly so that passengers can go back," said Ashok Kumar Sharma, a passenger.

"No facility is available here. I came here at 10'clock yesterday. Even after 24 hours, we don't know when will we leave for Jaipur. The authorities are not co-operating with us. I had to sleep on the floor" said Agre Shristava, another passenger

O.P. Babbar, station in-charge, Bikaner House, said, "We are in regular contact with the officials in Jaipur and waiting for their orders to move the buses. If any passenger wants his money back we are refunding the whole amount. Around 300 passengers' money has already been refunded".

The community currently comes under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.


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