Gujjars agree to postmortem on 16 victims

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{image-gujjar protest_01062008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Jaipur, June 1: Gujjar agitators on Sunday agreed for the postmortem of 16 victims killed in police firing by a team of doctors from three states. There will be two Gujjar doctors in each team. Postmortem will be carried on the rail tracks of Pilupura village of Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

Gujjar protesters, led by Colonel (retired) Kirori Singh Bainsla, decided that the postmortem will be conducted as per the conditions laid down in a two-page letter written to the State Administration. The bodies are being kept in metal trunks with ice slabs. Bainsla has warned his supporters not to leave Pilupura as security forces will get an opportunity to take action.

Announcing the community's decision to allow the post-mortem, he said "anything can happen at night if your (supporters) number decline. Police will capture the area". Addressing his supporters, he advised them to arrange for tarpaulin sheets and torches to remain at the agitation site at night.

The Gujjar leadership agreed to the post-mortem by doctors in the State after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) expressed its inability to conduct the autopsy. Gujjars are demanding inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST) that will ensure reservation in jobs and seats in educational institutions.

The Gujjar protest, which has spread to many places in and around Rajasthan, has disrupted road and rail traffic badly. The Rajasthan Government reserves about half of the seats in State colleges and universities for lower castes and tribal groups to flatten centuries-old social hierarchies. Some critics say the quota system masks India's failure to provide good universal education and social equality. A year ago, Gujjars in Rajasthan fought with police and members of another caste that already qualifies for job quotas. At least 26 people were killed in that violence. After these protests, a State Government committee said it would spend 2.8 billion rupees improving schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure in Gujjar areas. But Gujjars rejected this option.

ANI

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