Rajasthan High Court issues contempt notice to Gujjar chief Bainsla

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Jaipur, May 27 : Gujjar leader Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla was served with a contempt notice by the Rajasthan High Court today for alleged violation of its order restricting the community leadership from taking the law into their hands.

Bainsla has been directed by Justice Preme Shankar Asopa to appear before the court on May 30 on a petition filed by the State Government, which accuses him of violating the court's order of September 10, 2007.

The court also sought an explanation from the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of Police on the action taken to prevent the breakdown of law and order due to Gujjar agitation demanding Schedule Tribe quota.

Bainsla, who is spearheading the agitation for ST status since Friday, has been camping in Karwadi. He has refused to travel to Jaipur to hold talks with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Instead, he asked the Raje to come to Karwadi for talks.

The standoff between the Raje Government and the Gujjars has escalated since Sunday, after Raje warned of tough action against violent agitators. Bhainsla has warned of continued agitation in support of his demand.

He said the "unanimous" decision of Gujjars across the state was that there should not be any talks with the government unless it sends a letter to the Centre recommending ST status for the community.

Meanwhile train and bus services in the state continue to be severely affected due to the Gujjar agitation. On Monday, Northern Railway cancelled nine trains passing through Rajasthan and diverted several others to different routes. Rail movement in other zones was also badly affected by the agitation.

Bus services from Delhi to various destinations in Rajasthan, including Alwar, Tijara, Jhunjhunu, Sikara, Karawali and Bala Ji have been put on hold. The agitation has caused largescale damage to the state-run buses of Rajasthan during the first three days of the agitation.

Meanwhile, the Army, which has been called in has tightened its grip on Karwadi, Pilupura and certain neighbouring areas, cutting off food and other essential items' supply lines.

The Army was deployed in the affected areas in this region after 16 people were killed in police firing and clashes on Friday. Additional troops were deployed last night.

The Gujjars have created a "Tiger Force" to check "suspicious elements" and ensure the supply of essential commodities in areas under their control.

The formation of this force comes in the wake of reports that some Gujjar men have been arrested and their vehicles seized in area of the agitation.

Chief Minister,Raje has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommending reservation for Gujjars under a separate category Bainsla said he welcomed it and would consider the future of the agitation after getting a copy of the letter. He however, warned that if the letter did not contain the granting of Scheduled Tribe status for the Gujjars, the agitation would continue.

The state government had asked the Centre to declare Gujjars as denotified class of tribals in January this year and it was mentioned again in Raje's letter.

The government was ready for dialogue whereever Bainsla wanted, but ruled out holding talks on the rail tracks near Kherawadi where Gujjar agitators are camping for the last four days.

Bainsla demanded that Raje should come to the agitation site and hold talks with the community members on the demand for ST status.

Raje had flown to Bayana on Sunday and stayed for about 40 minutes in an attempt to hold talks with Bainsla.

Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Karatia warned of commando action against protesting Gujjars if they did not give up arms immediately and release the bodies of those killed during the violent agitation.

Mobile telephone services in the area have been jammed by the Army.

ANI

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