Agitation peaceful, Gujjar leaders court arrest

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Jaipur, Oct 2 (UNI) A large number of people, including Gujjar leaders cutting across party lines, courted arrest as part of the 'Jail Bharo' agitation which began here today demanding their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) quota list in Rajasthan However, no untoward incident was reported any where in the desert state.

Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti, which has been spearheading a campaign for Gujjars' inclusion in the ST list, had given a call for an indefinite 'Jail Bharo' agitation which began today in the seven divisional headquarters of the state.

State Home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said no untoward incident was reported during the agitation and protests were held in a peaceful manner. Mr Kataria said exept Bharatpur and Jaipur, the arrests were over and the exact number of arrests would be available only after the completion of arrests in these divisions.

A large number of people were still waiting for their turns in Bharatpur and Jaipur to get themselves arrested in various jails when the reports last came in.

Those Gujjar leaders who courted arrest in Muhana Mandi in Jaipur includes Congress MP Sachin Pilot, and BJP MLAs Harjan Singh Gujjar, Nathu Singh Gujjar and Jaipur Zilla Pramukh Ram Gopal.

In Kota, expelled BJP MLA Prahlad Gunjal led the agitation and courted arrest along with thousands of Gujjars.

Gujjar leaders Roop Singh and Col Kirori Singh Bainsla along with suspended BJP MLA Attar Singh Badana were also among thousands of Gujjars who got themselves arrested in Bharatpur.

The Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti has threatened that if the Rajasthan government did not take action on their seven-point agenda, they would continue to remain in jails and from October 10 women and children would also start courting arrest.

The seven-point agenda includes the state government forwarding a letter of recommendation to the Centre favouring Gujjars' inclusion in the ST list, government job to one member of the family killed in police firing, withdrawal of cases against the Gujjars during the agitation in May-June and releasing the Gujjars imprisoned in jails, among others.

The government has set up 259 makeshift jails and depolyed 100 companies of para military forces to maintain law and order during the protests.


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