Home India News Rajasthan tense as government begins fresh talks with Gujjars

Rajasthan tense as government begins fresh talks with Gujjars


Jaipur : The Rajasthan government late Friday night began the third round of talks with leaders of the Gujjar community as the state remained tense for the fourth day – cut off from the rest of the country – as an ugly caste conflict loomed large between Gujjars and Meenas over the quota pie.

As Thursday's talks failed to resolve the crisis, the government scrambled to find a way and prepared to hold fresh talks with the farming community. The Gujjars are demanding Scheduled Tribe status for better education and employment opportunities.

On Friday, five people were killed and 20 others injured in clashes between Gujjars and Meenas in the state's Dausa and Karauli districts, officials said.

However, one person from the Meena community was also shot dead by people allegedly belonging to another community in Masalpur area in Karauli, police said.

Meenas, who are the only ones with Scheduled Tribe status in the state, were trying to converge on Dausa to remove roadblocks put up by the Gujjars.

However, timely intervention by police and army helped to stop the clashes. Minor clashes also broke out between the over 8,000 pilgrims who are stranded in Mehandipur Balaji, a Hindu religious town on Jaipur-Agra highway, and the Meena community.

The local administration decided to evacuate the stranded pilgrims with the help of army.

The army was called in to assist the local administration in Dausa, where agitators were said to have damaged a water pipeline. Shoot-at-sight orders were issued in Bayana in Bharatpur and Sawai Madhopur districts.

In Kota, the army was called in to assist the police to save a police post from being burnt.

The violence showed no signs of let up despite leaders of the Gujjar Sangharsh Samiti, which is spearheading the agitation, calling for calm.

Many bus and train services along key routes have either been cancelled or diverted.