Manmohan Singh calls Cabinet meeting to discuss Gujjar reservation

May 27th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi , May 27 ANI: The flames of Gujjar agitation have finally reached New Delhi with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling an emergency meeting at 5:30 pm on Tuesday.

The meet comes in the wake of Gujjar leader Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla pledging to continue the struggle until the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status is met. He further asked the Centre to consider the communitys demand for ST status, saying he would not settle for anything less than that

The ethnic Gujjar community has refused to withdraw agitation over the tribal status issue as their protests continue to spread in parts of Northern India on Tuesday

The Gujjar violence that began last week has claimed at least 35 lives so far.

In the wake of continuing protests, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhra Raje had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday to provide up to six percent quota under the category of denotified tribes to Gujjars.

She also urged the Central Government to call a meeting of the states having sizable Gujjar population to discuss the issue.

However, Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsala had refused to hold discussion with the government saying Rajes initiative do not meet their demand of granting scheduled tribe status to Gujjars.

“See this is our final decision. We will not withdraw our protest and will not leave the place until we are given notified Scheduled Tribe status according to article 342 of the constitution,” Bainsla, said today .

Meanwhile, the state government has deployed army in the violence -hit Bayana and Sikandra towns of Rajasthan.

Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor informed that about 18 columns of army men were out on the request of the civil authorities.

“The role that the army is going to play will depend upon what civil authorities require and how they feel the necessity is there. As far as the deployment is considered, close to 18 columns of the army have been provided on requisition by the civil authorities at various places like Dausa, Hindon, said Kapoor in New Delhi .

As the protest by ethnic Gujjar community continues to spread, protestors in Delhi came on the streets and demanded that the Rajasthan government should immediately send a request of inclusion of the Gujjars in the Scheduled Tribes list.

“The atrocities on Gujjars continue. We want that the demand of reservation for the community should be accepted and government should send a letter requesting inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes list to the Central Government,” said Ranveer Singh, president of Gujjar Reservation Sangharsh Samiti (struggle forum) Haryana.

A State Government committee had announced that the government would spend 2.82 billion rupees ($67 million) improving schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure in Gujjar-dominated areas but Gujjars are hell-bent on getting ST status for them.

Last year, at least 26 people from the Gujjar community lost their lives demanding ST status for them. (ANI)

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