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HC issues contempt notice to Gujjar leader
May 27, 2008 10:39 IST
Last Updated: May 27, 2008 13:16 IST
The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday issued a contempt notice to Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla for allegedly violating its order restraining the community leadership from taking law into their hands.
Coverage: Rajasthan's Caste Conflict
Justice Preme Shankar Asopa directed Bainsla to appear before the court on May 30 on a petition by the state government accusing him of violating the court's order of September 10, 2007.
The court also sought an explanation from the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of Police as to what action was taken to prevent the breakdown of law and order in the wake of the Gujjar agitation for Schedule Tribe quota.
The high court in its September order had restrained Gujjar leaders from taking law into their own hands and directed them to stage protests within the ambit and permissible scope of law.
The court had also directed them not to hold any rally or meeting in support of the agitation in Jaipur or any other place without getting permission from the prescribed authority.
Earlier, on January 18 this year, Justice M N Bhandari had issued contempt notices to Bainsla and some Gujjar legislators for raising inflammatory statements and disrupting law and order by giving call for a bandh on January 21.
During arguments on the contempt petition, Additional Advocate General (AAG) Bhart Vyas submitted that the Rajasthan Gurjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti had made a representation to the Bharatpur Collector on May 19 for holding rallies on the quota issue, but it was turned down the same day on the ground of threat to law and order.
He said that despite rejection of the Samiti's plea, Bainsla proceeded with his agitation which was violative of the High Court's earlier order.
Justice Asopa recorded the statement of the AAG that 38 lives have been lost in the current agitation led by Bainsla.
The court has asked the state authorities to file their report with regard to the agitation by May 30, when the matter will come up for hearing.
A Gujjar 'tiger force'
Youth in their early twenties have been handpicked by the community members to patrol round the clock to prevent any 'security breach'.
"We believe that CID personnel and other vested interests have been frequenting this place. In order to prevent any breach that would be harmful to our agitation, this youth brigade has been handpicked," a senior member of the community said.
There are about 40 boys in the force, who have also been entrusted with the task of maintaining the smooth flow of ration, medicines and drinking water.
"Now that we have asked our men not to leave this place, only these boys would be going to and fro from here to the villages to fetch these items," he said.
Talking about their preparedness to counter any situation, he said, the members of the tiger office are armed with lathis and have been asked to keep a check on any 'suspicious person' and check his identity in case of doubt.