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Updated: April 15, 2010 17:51 IST

Gehlot again invites Gujjars for talks

PTI
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A file picture of Gujjar leader Col. Kirori Singh Bainsla. Photo: PTI
PTI
A file picture of Gujjar leader Col. Kirori Singh Bainsla. Photo: PTI

Rajasthan government on Thursday extended a fresh invitation for talks to Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, who is spearheading a protest demanding five per cent quota for the community in State jobs.

Hundreds of Gujjars led by Mr. Bainsla have been marching to Jaipur since April 11 to press for their demand.

District Collector of Karauli Neeraj K. Pawan extended the invitation to Mr. Bainsla and his colleagues at a private hotel in Peepalkhera village of Dausa district on Thursday.

The district collector held a closed door meeting with the Gujjar leader for about 90 minutes and apprised him of the State government’s view point on the issue, an official told PTI.

“It is now up to Mr. Bainsla to decide whether to go ahead for talks with the government or continue march,” the official said, adding no written invite was handed over to Mr. Bainsla, it was just verbal talks between the two.

Earlier, two rounds of talks between Gujjars and government emissaries collapsed on April 12 as the Gehlot government denied conceding to their demand.

Following this, the Gujjars launched “Jaipur kooch” (march) from a college ground in Hindon, about 300 km from the state capital, and reached Peepalkhera last night.

When contacted, Energy Minister and key intermediary Dr Jitendra Singh told PTI that the State government was exploring the possibility to satisfy the Gujjar community’s demand of five per cent quota within the limit of 50 per cent quota.

“Legal experts are evaluating the rules, acts and other legislations adopted by South Indian States. It could take appropriate time to work out on a constructive formula,” Mr. Singh said.

Hundreds of Gujjars led by Mr. Bainsla resumed the road show on the NH-11 today from Peepalkhera in Dausa district, Dr. Roopsingh, spokesman of Rajasthan Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti, said.

At Patoli’s Shaeed Smarak where seven Gujjars had fallen victim to police bullets two years ago, the protestors paid floral tribute at the memorial, he said.

Jaipur is about 100-km from Peepalkhera, and the marchers would pass through Manpur, Sikandra, Dausa, Bassi, Kanota to reach the state capital in next two days.

The District Collector (Jaipur) has already imposed the prohibitory order under section 144 of CrPC in entire district to contain any outside movement of crowd or group into the State capital, till April 18.

Extra force is also keeping a strict vigil on the national highways, and the GRP maintaining rail track surveillance in Kota division, officials said.

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