|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Rajasthan: CM-Gujjar talks inconclusive
June 02, 2007 15:06 IST
Last Updated: June 02, 2007 22:42 IST
The Rajasthan government agreed on Saturday night to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family members of those killed in the clashes and police firing in the wake of violence over the Gurjar demand for ST status.
This was decided at a nine-hour long meeting between Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Gujjar leaders aimed at ending the violent agitation.
The talks, attended for the first time by the chief minister, ended 'inconclusively', and would continue on Sunday, a senior official said.
The injured would also be given compensation as per the requirement and rules, Raje announced at her residence on Saturday night.
Sunday's talks would now be held with the convenor of the Gujjar Sangarsh Samiti Colonel Kirori Singh Bhainsla, she said.
"My government is committed to resolving any problem to maintain and bring the peace and harmony in the state hence I invited the agitating Gujjar people for which they were holding protests for the last five days," Raje said.
"The talks with Gujjar delegation has moved forward satisfactorily and I am sure a solution to the current impasse would end after holding final talks with their leader Colonel Bhainsla", she said. Among those who attended the crucial meeting included Home Minister G C Kataria, six Gujjar MLAs including Panchayti Raj Minister Kalulal Gujjar, and 11 members of Gujjar Sangarsh Samiti delegation.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Gujjar leaders in the capital on Saturday demanded the imposition of President's rule in Rajasthan and a CBI inquiry into the police firing there following protests by the community demanding ST status.
The leaders, who met at the Delhi residence of Haryana MP and prominent Gujjar leader Avtar Singh Bharana, also appealed to the government to take all necessary steps, including sending the recommendation the Centre for their inclusion in the ST list, for maintianing peace in the state.
The meeting discussed the future course of action as the protests is entering the sixth day on Sunday.
Suggestions for calling a Delhi bandh and blocking the entry of gooods to the capital was also discussed but no final decision was taken. Bharana said a final decision on calling a Delhi bandh will be taken on Sunday.
"A final decision on what strategy should be adopted will be taken on Sunday. Whether to focus on Delhi or to go to Rajasthan will be taken then," he told PTI after the four-hour long meeting.
The BJP leadership during the election campaign in 2003 had promised to include the community in the Scheduled Tribe list if they get power, he said, adding, 'but they failed to keep the word, which forced Gujjars to take to the streets'.
"The situation in the state has worsened and we appeal to the government to take all measures to restore peace in the state. But we do not think that the Rajasthan government can do that. So we are demanding President's rule," he said.
He also demanded a CBI inquiry into the police firing in various parts of Rajasthan in which over 20 people were killed this week.
"The first priority of the government is to douse the fire in the state," Bharana said.
Bharana, who toured the trouble-hit parts of the state for four days, also met Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and raised the demands for imposing President's rule in the state and CBI inquiry into the incidents.
Meanwhile, Gujjars led by NCP Delhi president Rambvir Singh Bidhuri will organise a protest march in the capital to demand the dismissal of the Rajasthan government. Prominent community leaders under the ageis of All India Gujjar Mahasabha are also meeting to chart out the future course of action.