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Gujjar agitators still lodged in various jails

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Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla
Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla

Special Correspondent

Sachin Pilot denied permission to meet anyone

JAIPUR: The Gujjar volunteers in Rajasthan who courted arrest on Gandhi Jayanti day to press the community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status continued to remain in various jails and makeshift camps for the third day on Thursday.

Even as Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria made it clear that no one from the 60,000-odd arrested under the “jail bharo” (fill the jails) programme would be released without bail, numerous complaints have surfaced on the treatment being meted out to the captives.

The State administration, for reasons known to it alone, shifted the leader of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti (Gujjar reservation agitation committee), Kirori Singh Bainsla, from Sewer jail in Bharatpur to Ajmer on Thursday. Similarly the expelled BJP MLA, Prahlad Gunjal, lodged in Kota jail, was taken to distant Jaisalmer.

There was no untoward incident during the day though there were reports of Gujjars blocking the roads in Tonk, Karauli and Ajmer districts.

Most of the leaders of the Gujjar community are in jail while BJP MLAs Nathu Singh Gujjar and Hargyan Singh Gujjar, Zila Pramukh Ramgopal Guard and former Congress Chief Whip Hari Singh Mahuwa did not stay back in jails after their arrest.

One person who chose to remain in jail and is seemingly facing the “hospitality” of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government here is the young Congress MP from Dausa, Sachin Pilot. Lodged in Central Jail here, Mr. Pilot was denied permission to meet anyone after his arrest. He was arrested at Mohana near here, the designated place for courting arrest for those from Jaipur division, but was singled out for the Central Jail.

“I have been waiting outside the Central Jail for the past two days but the authorities did not give me permission to meet him. He is not a criminal to be treated like this,” said an agitated Vijay Gupta, secretary to Mr. Pilot, talking to this correspondent.

Mr. Gupta said he had tried to pass on some fruits, water bottles and newspapers to Mr. Pilot but could not. Attempts by the BJP MP from Jaipur, Girdharilal Bhargava, to meet Mr. Pilot the previous day too proved unsuccessful not to speak of hordes of persons from Dausa who had turned up outside the jail to meet their MP.

“First of all we don’t know why he has been brought to Central Jail while others who courted arrest with him are in makeshift jails, which allows a lot of freedom including the use of mobile phones. Even Col. Bainsla was allowed to meet Minister Digambar Singh in Sewer jail the previous day but Mr. Pilot is being singled out for this treatment,” Mr. Gupta complained. The jail authorities were not available for comments.

The Gujjar community also launched its “jail bharo” campain at sub-divisional levels on Thursday. Reports of arrests from some parts of Jaipur have been received. The Gujjar leaders from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, who met in the national Capital during the day, announced a boycott of milk supply by the community on Saturday in these States.


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