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Rajasthan: Gujjars call off agitation
June 19, 2008 10:45 IST
Last Updated: June 19, 2008 11:38 IST
The nearly month-long agitation by members of the Gujjar community � demanding Scheduled Tribe status -- was called off by their leader Kirori Singh Bainsla on Thursday. The decision comes in the wake of the agreement finalised between the Rajasthan government and leaders of the Gujjar community on Wednesday.
The Rajasthan government had announced a five per cent reservation for Gujjars under a 'special, separate backward class' category.
The 27-day Gujjar agitation, which witnessed large-scale violence, claimed 43 lives in police firing in Rajasthan and Haryana.
Bainsla, who reached Karwadi-Pilupura area, the agitation epicentre, from Jaipur on Wednesday night, said he was very happy with the agreement signed with the Rajasthan government and was calling off the agitation that began on May 23.
Bainsla, a retired army colonel, expressed his gratitude towards Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje and gave her the credit for ending the stalemate.
"The agreement signed between the Gujjar community and the Rajasthan government is a historic step. We are thankful to the Chief Minister and welcome the government's decision," Bainsla told his community members.
"The government has given us more than what we demanded," Bainsla, who is the chief of the Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, said.
After Bainsla's announcement of an end to the protests, the agitators vacated the railway track they had been blocking. The security forces deployed in the area have taken control of the track and the Railway authorities have started repairing the damaged portions.
The Rajasthan government has announced a relief package for the Gujjar community including Rs 5 lakh cash ex gratia each to the next of the kin of those killed in police firing and violence.
The Gujjar delegation, in turn, had assured the state government that it would not raise any other demand and it would not support any other Gujjar faction's movement and agitation in future.
About 35 Gujjar leaders, four state ministers K L Gujjar, Nathu Singh Gujjar, L N Dave, S M Jat, state Bharatiya Janata Party president Om Prakash Mathur and senior party leader Ram Das Agarwal were signatories to the agreement between the two sides.