Gujjars turn down Raje's invitation for talks

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{image-gujjar agitation_25052008.jpg}Jaipur, May 25: Gujjar leaders spearheading an agitation to press the demand of ST status for the community today turned down Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's invitation for dialogue sent to Gujjar leader Col (retd) Kirodi Singh Bainsla. Col Bainsla, who is leading a dharna at railway tracks in Pillupura in Bayana region with the bodies of 12 police firing victims, had showed no inclination for talks with the State Government.

Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said the state government so far received no word from the Gujjar leader. The state Government had last night invited the Gujjar Reservation Action Committee Convener Col Bainsla to hold talks to resolve amicably the Gujjar agitation issue. The Gujjar leader was invited to Chief Minister's Office(CMO) here today at 1100 hrs to hold talks with Chief Minister Raje. The Home Minister had earlier also spoken to Col Bainsla over telephone, on the eve of the launch of the "Rail Roko" to persuade him to withdraw the agitation. The situation in Pillupura and Karvaria near Bayana and Sikandara in Dausa district where violence and police firing during past two days have claimed at least 36 lives, continued to be tense.

Gujjars were sitting on dharna at both the places. Bandhs were organised by agitating Gujjars in about a dozen towns today in protest against the police firing. The situation was peaceful as no fresh untoward incident was reported from any place, police said. The revived Gujjar agitation since May 23 has taken a toll of 36 lives, a Government spokesperson said.

However, reports quoting police and unofficial sources put the toll at 39 to 40.


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