R'than govt, Gujjar talks deadlocked

R'than govt, Gujjar talks deadlocked

Protesters continue to block railway tracks

The first round of meeting between Gujjar leaders and the Rajasthan government failed on Saturday with community leaders accusing the state government of not offering any concrete solution to their five per cent reservation demand. 

The meeting was held in Bayana town in Bharatpur district. Earlier in the day, the state government had send a delegation of three cabinet ministers to negotiate with agitating Gujjar leaders. The meeting lasted for three hours after which Gujjars announced to intensify the agitation.

“The government had no concrete proposal to satisfy us. They were taking on the old development and had nothing to offer. This time we want a time-bound and concrete action plan so that we get five per cent reservation in education institutes and government jobs,” said Himmat Singh, a Gujjar leader. Now we have no option other than to intensify the agitation, he added.

The Gujjar delegation was led by Kirori Singh Bhainsla while the government delegation included Health and Medical Minister Rajendra Rathore, Social Justice Minister Arun Chaturvedi and Food Minister Hem Singh Bhadana.

After joining other protesters in Pilukapura village, Gujjar leaders appealed to the community to ensure huge strength on the railway tracks. Kirori Singh Bhainsla asked the community to ensure 40,000 people on railway tracks, or else he would leave the agitation.

Gujjars continue to block the Delhi-Mumbai railway line near Pilukapura village of Bharatpur district. The protest severely affected movement of trains on this route. Many trains on this route were cancellation and some were diverted to other areas.

IG of Bharatpur Biju George Joseph, SP Rahul Prakash and district collector Ravi Jain are camping in Bayana and heavy force has been deployed around the area to maintain law and order. Gujjars had staged protests between 2006 and 2008 to demand reservations, in which at least 67 people lost their lives and hundreds others were injured. 

On May 22, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria told reporters, “We are open for talks with anyone. I strongly feel that talks can resolve all issues. The matter is before the court and I can assure them that the state government will do its best to resolve the issue at the earliest.”

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