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Home > India > News > PTI

Rajasthan govt, Gujjars agree to hold talks

June 08, 2008 17:02 IST
Last Updated: June 08, 2008 19:33 IST

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In the first glimmer of hope for an end to the 16-day-old agitation, Rajasthan government and the Gujjar leadership on Sunday agreed to hold preliminary talks in the community stronghold of Bayana in Bharatpur district.

The talks are expected to be held between the state government officials and Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, spearheaded by 70-year-old Kirori Singh Bainsla, on Monday, informed sources said.

In a bid to break the deadlock and bring Bainsla, a retired colonel, to the negotiating table, the state authorities earlier in the day offered to hold preliminary parleys with the Gujjar leadership in Bayana provided the main talks took place in Jaipur.

Bainsla, who is camping in violence-hit Karwadi-Pilupura area, about five km from Bayana, said that if the preliminary talks were 'fruitful' and held in a 'conducive' atmosphere, he would to go to Jaipur for further parleys.

Sources said S N Thanvi, Rajasthan government's chief negotiator, was expected to go to Jaipur to seek instruction from the top state political leadership before proceeding for the first round.

Meanwhile, the Samiti, agitating for Scheduled Tribe status, submitted to the authorities a list of 45 names, who will represent the community at the parleys. However, the government asked Bainsla to limit the list to a dozen people and not to include the names of Gujjar leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi since the matter related to Rajasthan.

Thanvi told media persons earlier in Bayana that 'we are in touch with Bainsla on mobile phone. We are willing to have preliminary talks at Bayana on the condition that the main talks will be held in Jaipur only'.

Thanvi, who is Principal Secretary (Irrigation), said: "We have advised him that the talks will be convened between a delegation of the state government and the Gujjar group, which should not exceed a specified number."

Attempts by the state government to bring Bainsla to the negotiating table had failed on Saturday as the two sides refused to budge on their stand over the choice of the venue.

While the state authorities wanted the parleys to be held in Jaipur, Bainsla insisted that they take place in Bayana. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's earlier offer to the Gujjar leadership to hold talks had also failed on the same ground.
The violent agitation by the Gujjars since May 23 has claimed the lives of 43 people in police firing and clashes.

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