Meenas allowed to inspect documents of Gujjar demands


Jaipur : The high-powered committee formed by the Rajasthan government, which is looking into the demands of the Gujjar community for tribal status, has agreed to allow Meenas to inspect the documents and affidavits submitted by the Gujjars.

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The decision on examining the CDs, audio cassettes and picture albums would be taken at the next hearing slated to be held Aug 21.

On Tuesday, the committee headed by Justice Jasraj Chopra heard the opinion of representatives of both Gujjar and Meena communities for about three hours.

The Meenas, during the hearing, requested the committee members to provide them with all the documents, CDs and photo albums so that they can effectively put forward their case while the Gujjars opposed it.

After hearing both the parties, the committee decided to allow the Meena community to inspect papers submitted by Gujjars.

A few days ago, Meenas and Janjati Aarkshan Bacaho Sangarsh Samiti (JABSS) had requested the Justice Chopra Committee to provide them with documents submitted by the Gujjars.

They had also asked the committee to permit them to examine these affidavits. The JABSS had also termed as unjustified the demand of Gujjars on granting them tribal status.

On July 16, a delegation of the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (GASS), the body spearheading the agitation demanding tribal status, had presented its report before the high-powered committee.

The report included over 125,000 affidavits and 20,000 pictures from all over Rajasthan supporting the demands of Gujjars.

The delegation had also presented 200 CDs in support of their case. A three-member committee was formed after protesting Gujjars and the state government reached an agreement June 4 to look into their demands.

Besides Chopra, who is a retired judge of the Rajasthan High Court, renowned sociologist Yogesh Atal was appointed as a member and Srinivasan, a senior IAS officer, was named a special secretary to committee that is slated to submit its report to the state government in three months.

The Gujjars, who are classified as other backward classes (OBCs), had held violent protests all over the state from May 29 to June 4 demanding their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe category for better job and educational opportunities. At least 26 people were killed in the violence.