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JAIPUR: The Gujjar community in Tonk district of Rajasthan has decided not to sell milk from Sunday till the State Government makes a positive settlement on its demand for Scheduled Tribe status to Gujjars.
The boycott of milk supply, the traditional occupation of the dairy farming Gujjar community, comes on the eve of its “jail bharo” (fill the jails) agitation scheduled for October 2, Gandhi Jayanti Day, in all the divisional headquarters of Rajasthan.
District Gujjar Doodh Utpadak Sangh (Gujjar milk producers’ association) president Ramdayal Gujjar said in Tonk on Saturday that till the time the State Government sends its letter to the Centre recommending enlistment of Gujjars as a Scheduled Tribe, milk distribution would be suspended. The ban includes milk supply to diary companies, shops and restaurants and also to households, he added.
The Gujjars supply the bulk of the milk consumed in Tonk and the neighbouring districts of Dausa, Sawai Madhopur and Karauli, the hotbeds of bloody confrontation during the first round of the violent agitation by the community in May. The members of the Rajasthan Gujjar Mahasabha, now gearing up for the “jail bharo” agitation, said here that the ban on milk sale might be extended to more districts.
Ramdeo Gujjar, president of Gujjar Mahasabha Tonk (City), said anyone disobeying the ban would be punished with a fine of Rs.5,001. “If the person refuses to pay the penalty, the community would ostracize his family in future,” he said. The next round of the proposed showdown by the Gujjars is keeping the BJP-led Government here on its toes. Apart from arranging for temporary/makeshift jails to keep the Gujjar volunteers who would offer to court arrest on Tuesday, the machinery has swung into action making some preventing arrests of the leaders of the movement.