Sunny Sebastian

But they insist the discussions be held in Bayana itself

Maha panchayat gives a call for an all-India bandh on June 10

Mass cremation of bodies likely to be held on Saturday

JAIPUR: The Gujjar leadership on Friday positively responded to an invitation for talks from the Rajasthan government, at a maha panchayat held at Pilupura in Bayana Tehsil of Bharatpur district.

Though some of the community leaders from outside the State could not reach the venue, where Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti (Gujjar agitation action committee) leader Kirori Singh Bainsla is sitting on a “dharna,” indications are that the gathering gave a positive nod to the talks, but insisted that they be held at Bayana.

A day after the police firing on Gujjars blocking the Delhi-Mumbai rail tracks at Bayana, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje flew down to the Tehsil town bordering Uttar Pradesh but Mr. Bainsla had refused to meet her.

Some of the Gujjar leaders could reach Jaipur only on Friday. One of them, Devki Nandan Kaka, told The Hindu that he, along with Avtar Singh Bhadana and Rambir Singh Bidhuri of the Akhil Bharatiya Gujjar Sangarsh Samiti, would travel to Bayana to meet Mr. Bainsla after attending the funeral of Gujjar victims of police firing at Sikandra on Saturday.

The maha panchayat at Bayana also give a call for an all-India bandh on June 10.

No rigid stand

State president of the ruling BJP Omprakash Mathur said the authorities would not take a rigid stand on the venue for talks. “But we have yet to get any official communication from the Gujjar leaders on their willingness for talks,” he said. Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, talking to newspersons during the day, felt that a Gujjar delegation could have come to Jaipur for talks, if not Mr. Bainsla.

Amidst positive progression of the efforts on a dialogue, the situation at Sikandra on National Highway 11 in Dausa district remained the same, with 20 bodies of Gujjar victims of police firing, placed across the road, waiting for cremation.

Disposal of bodies

The disposal of the bodies could not take place as the crowds, which have gathered there are insisting on the presence of local Congress MP Sachin Pilot and rebel BJP MLAs, Prahlad Gunjal and Attar Singh Bhadana, for the funeral.

The two MLAs are now lodged in the Central Jail, Jaipur.

Dausa Collector Rajesh Yadav told The Hindu that a mass cremation was expected to be held on Saturday in the presence of Mr. Pilot, who had reportedly promised to reach the place. As for the presence of Mr. Gunjal and Mr. Bhadana, the Collector said he had no idea.

Breakthrough

In a major breakthrough, the Army and the police could remove the rail blockade at Arnia near the Bandikui railway station in Dausa district on the Delhi-Jaipur route.

For the past few days, Gujjars men and women were squatting on the tracks disrupting the rail link between Jaipur and Delhi.

“It was a bloodless operation carried out in the presence of a magistrate, the Army, 10 companies of paramilitary forces and the police. There was no violence involved,” Mr.Yadav said. The police arrested 47 men and about a dozen women, he said.

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