Hoshiarpur, July 30: All India Gujjar Mahasabha president Col Kirori Lal Bainsla has demanded that Gujjars belonging to the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Jain communities should be given be given the benefits of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).
"There are more than 11 crore Gujjars belonging to different religions, who have a common culture and heritage, but do not get the required benefits being given to SCs and STs", he said while talking to mediapersons here today.
He made it clear that the demand of reservation by the Gujjar community had not ended. It had been decided to hold a national level Maha Sammelan of Gujjar community on the birth anniversary of late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31 at Ram Lila Ground, Delhi to put forward the demand of the community in a forceful manner, he added.
"The community will demand reservation not only in government jobs and educational institutions but also other benefits being provided to the SCs and STs", he said. He alongwith other office bearers of the Gujjar Mahasabha would bring all the Gujjars on a common platform to achieve their goal in all the states of the country, he declared.
Reservations of some seats for the Gujjars in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttranchal and Himachal Pradesh assemblies, in addition to reservation in government jobs and educational institution would also be demanded, he said. He claimed that all the political parties had exploited the Gujjars but did nothing for their betterment.
Referring to their recent agitation in Rajasthan, Col Bainsla said that a Chopra committee headed by a retired judge of the state High Court had been constituted by the Rajasthan government which was studying the case of reservation to the Gujjar community. It would submit its report on September 4.
He thanked members of all the Gujjar communities of the country for extending their support during their agitation for getting reservation in Rajasthan. Hoshiarpur district has a fair number of Gujjars.
Later, Col Bainsla addressed a Gujjar Maha Sammelan at local Shakti temple and demanded inclusion of Gujjars in Scheduled Caste category in Punjab, keeping in view their culture, backwardness and nominal representation in state administration. Dairy farming was the basic concept of life for the Punjab Gujjars, he pointed out.
Imposition of industrial rates for water and electricity on dairy farming by considering it as a industry had compelled the Gujjars to struggle hard, he added.