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'Unless 'ST' status given agitation to continue'

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Jun 4: Gujjar leaders in Delhi today threatened that their agitation would not be withdrawn unless a recommendation towards granting ''Scheduled Tribe'' status to the community was put forward by the Rajasthan government.

Unless there is any assurance on our demand from the state government the 'andolan' would not be withdrawn, Gujjar leader and Congress MP Avtar Singh Bhadana told mediapersons after 'sending off' Colonel (retd) K S Bainsla to hold talks with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

''We'll agree only on the 'ST' status and this condition will have to be fulfilled if the raging agitation has to subside and community people assured on this.'' Claiming that the 'Delhi Bandh' wasr peaceful, barring a few stray incidents, Mr Bhadana said they were all for peace but if people of the community were dragged out of their homes and killed how long could they keep quiet.

''Ignoring the issue at the very onset of the agitation and not talking to the community leaders on the issue actually led to aggravating of the situation. We want the situation to diffuse but our demands need to be met.'' Claiming that the commuinity 'panchayat' at its earlier meet has sought imposition of President's rule in Rajasthan and a CBI enquiry into the incident so that the real culprits were brought to book, he said the Gujjars fulfil all the conditions which Meenas have, so why shouldn't they be given the 'ST' status.

The Congress leader added the Home Minister while asking him to do everything to stop the agitation from getting out of hand today assured him that ''all would be done'' to protect the Gujjars in Rajasthan, when asked to send Central forces to the state to control attack by Meenas.


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