Gujjars yet to decide stand on govt invitation

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Jaipur, Jun 6 (UNI) The Gujjar Reservation Action Committee spearheading the ongoing agitation for ST status, is yet to consult Gujjar community leaders on the course of action on Rajasthan government's invitation for holding talks to resolve the issue amicably.

The committee Convener Col(retd) Kirodi Singh Bainsla has convened "a panchyat of community leaders" at the dharna site in Pillukapura-Karwadi near Bayana later this evening to decide the committee's stand and response to the state government's offer for bilateral dialogue.

The government had yesterday sent a fresh invitation to Col Bainsla inviting him to come Jaipur for talks.

However, Mr Bainsla had conveyed to the government that he would take a stand on the government's invitation after consulting the community leaders.

Status quo was maintained in the general situation of the fortnight-old Gujjar agitation.

While the dharna at Pillukarpura-Karwadi, Sikandara and at several other points on rail tracks and highways continued, no untoward incident was reported from any place.

The cremation of 20 victims of police firing in Sikandara on May 24, is yet to be performed. The bodies of the victims were still lying at the dharna site in Sikandhara.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, who is camping in Jaipur for past several days to facilitate efforts for negotiable solution to the Gujjar's demand, expressed hopes that the community leaders would take a decision on cremation of victims by this evening.

Mr Javadekar was also optimistic about early opening of bilateral talks with Gujjar leaders and said the BJP leadership and the state government were making all efforts to resolve the issue amicably.

AICC general secretary and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot slammed the Vasundhara Raje government for its "failure" in proper handling of the Gujjar issue and urged the Chief Minister to ensure the matter is resolved amicably without further use of force and/or repression.

Mr Gehlot urged the state government not to complicate further the issue by making misfactual public statements in the media and make sincere efforts to find an early solution.

The former Chief Minister who arrived here this morning met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Defence Minister AK Antony in New Delhi yesterday to discuss the Gujjar issue.


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