Raje writes to PM recommending quota for Gujjars

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Jaipur, May 26: The Gujjar community's efforts demanding tribal status seems to have paid off with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje writing a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommending four-six per cent reservation for them as a nomadic tribe under the category of de-notified tribes.

Holding the view that the Gujjar issue has ramifications not only for Rajasthan, but for other states too she requested Singh to call a meeting of all chief ministers to discuss the issue. Yesterday, Raje had offered to hold talks with Gujjar leader Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla to which he had agreed. Bainsla was ready to drive down to the CM's office to talk about the Gujjar demand of inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes list.

But later, he refused to talk with the State Government, insisting that the BJP Government send a report to Bharatpur.

On Monday, tension continued to prevail in Gujjar dominated areas of the state.Political leaders like Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh were prevented from entering Bayana , the seat of the Gujjar agitation.

Trains have been diverted away from Rajasthan to prevent damage and attack.Road transport has been skeletal on key highways , while bus services have been suspended.

So far, about 31 to 38 Gujjars have died since Friday.

Many trains from Delhi to Ahmedabad and Mumbai and those crossing areas along the Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh border were suspended or re-routed and the Jaipur-Agra Highway was blocked yesterday.

Police had opened fire on the Gujjars in Sikandra in Dausa District on Saturday, killing 21 of them and injuring at least 20 others.

The authorities, however said, only 15 had died and the critically injured had been admitted to Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh Hospital.

Gujjar protests are being led by Bainsla, who is now on an indefinite fast.

He has urged his supporters to remain calm.

Gujjars are demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the community, which would entitle them to reservations in top educational institutions in the country.

ANI

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