Home India News Gujjars call off sit-in protest in Rajasthan

Gujjars call off sit-in protest in Rajasthan


Jaipur : The Gujjar community in Rajasthan Sunday called off its massive sit-in protest planned for Monday after it held talks with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

The Gujjars had planned to hold a mahapadav, or massive sit-in, here and in Bharatpur. The community, at present placed in the other backward class (OBC) category, has been demanding inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category that, it claims, would give it better employment and educational opportunities.

“We have deferred our mahapadav after holding talks with BJP MP from Bharatpur Vishwendra Singh. However, we will decide our future course of action at a core meeting to be held within 10 days,” said Attar Singh Bhadana, a leader of the Gujjar Sankyut Sangarsh Samiti that planned the sit-in here.

“We have been told that talks to address our demands would be started in the next 10 days. If nothing positive comes from the government, then we would be forced to plan our mahapadav again,” another Gujjar leader said.

Colonel K.L. Bainsla’s Gujjar Sangarsh Aarkshan Samiti also called off its parallel sit-in near Bharatpur Monday.

“We will continue our fight for getting tribal status in a non-violent, peaceful manner based on Gandhism,” Bainsla said.

Said Vishwendra Singh, a leader of the Jat community: “I had requested the chief minister to hold talks with Gujjar leaders on the issue. The talks between the government and the Gujjars are expected to start soon. I have assured the Gujjars that if the government fails to send a recommendation letter to the Centre requesting tribal status to Gujjars, then the Jat community would also support the Gujjars.”

The Rajasthan government had invoked the National Security Act (NSA) in 12 districts Saturday and detained over 600 people. The NSA authorises the administration to detain people perceived as threat to peace and security.

The government had also cancelled the leave of all policemen and sought additional paramilitary forces from the central government to help maintain law and order.

According to official sources, the government is now mulling the release of all those detained.

Gujjars held protests all over Rajasthan from May 29 to June 4 last year, demanding their inclusion into the Scheduled Tribes category. Normal life was paralysed and at least 26 people were killed in the violence that was heading towards a caste war between Meenas and Gujjars, both dominant castes in the state.