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Gujjars demand withdrawal of cases
June 08, 2007 20:21 IST
Demanding the withdrawal of cases slapped on Gujjar leaders in the wake of the week-long violent protests in Rajasthan to demand Scheduled Caste status, community leaders on Friday suspended their stir till the three-member committee formed to look into their demand submits its report.
A Gujjar delegation led by Kirori Singh Bainsala met a state minister and top officials in Jaipur and demanded the withdrawal of 264 cases filed against activists in 14 districts after widespread violence claimed 26 lives during the protests between May 29 and June 4 to demand Scheduled Tribe status for the community.
Meanwhile, a 'mahapanchayat' (grand assembly) of Gujjars held in Pushkar decided to suspend protests for three months till the high-power committee headed by Justice (retired) Jashraj Chopra, constituted by the government to look into the demand of the Gujjars, submits its report.
The delegation led by Bainsala said police were 'acting tough' against protestors and many Gujjars were fleeing their homes as they feared they would be arrested, a Gujjar Sangarsh Samiti spokesman said.
"We demanded normalcy in the affected districts," he said.
However, a state government official said the meeting focused on reconciliation and restoration of peace in violence-hit districts.
The Gujjar leaders also asked the community not to indulge in any kind of violence over the next three months and decided to hold a 'Rashtriya Mahapanchayat' in Pushkar on June 24, BJP legislators Attar Singh Bhadhana and Prahlad Singh Gunjal told media persons.
Police have so far arrested 280 people accused in the 264 cases registered.
About 500 Gujjars participated in the day-long mahapanchayat held in the holy city amidst tight security.
At the Jaipur meeting, both sides agreed to work for amity, harmony and brotherhood between Gujjars and Meenas, who had opposed the agitation.
Officials said there was no discussion in the meeting on the agreement signed by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Bainsala on June 4 that ended the violent protests. There was no resentment among Gujjar leaders regarding the accord, an official said.
The meeting was attended by Minister Digambar Singh, DGP A S Gill, Principal Secretary (home) V S Singh and Secretary to the chief minister Sunil Arora and nine other Gujjar leaders.
The mahapanchayat also approved the Gujjar-government agreement and constituted a committee -- the Gujjar Arakshan Sanyuk Moncha (Gujjar Reservation Joint Forum) -- headed by Govind Singh Gurjar, a Congress legislator.