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The Union Law Ministry today put the ball back into Rajasthan government's court on the Gujjar issue by saying that the initiative for giving reservation to any community needs to be taken by the state.     In its opinion sent to the Home Ministry, sources said, the Law Ministry maintained that there is a provision in the Constitution for giving quota to a particular community but the decision has to be taken by the respective state government.     Referring to the Maharashtra pattern, the ministry is believed to have said that any state government which wants to give quota benefits to a community has to approach the Centre along with the justification, based on data, for extending the benefit to it.
While citing the example of benefits extended to tribals in Maharashtra, the Law Ministry's opinion is understood to have also pointed towards Article 16 (1) of the Constitution that is linked to these issues, sources said.     The ministry's opinion on the issue was sought by the Prime Minister's Office after Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's wrote a letter in the light of violent protests over the quota issue.  In her letter, Raje recommended four to six per cent quota for Gujjars in the category of de-notified class of tribals/nomadic tribe. The Gujjar agitation over the issue left 43 dead in Rajasthan and neighbouring areas of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Region.

Rival Gujjar outfit warns Raj Govt of fresh agitation

Jaipur, June 2: A rival Gujjar outfit on Monday warned the Rajasthan state government of a fresh agitation pending release of three MLAs belonging to the community, arrested on May 23.Over 5,000 supporters of Rajasthan Gurjar Arakshan Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti held a public meeting at Pendka followed by a demonstration and sit-in on railway tracks near Brijnagar station in Bharatpur district.The dharna was still in progress at the time of filing this report.Expelled BJP member Prahlad Gunjal, rebel BJP leader Atar Singh Bhadana and Madan Mohan Singhal from the BJP are currently lodged in Jaipur Central Jail where Gunjal and Bhadana are on hunger strike.They were arrested on the day that marked the start of the Gujjars' movement for ST status, led by Kirori Singh Bainsla's Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti.They were targeted by the government because they did not belong to Bainsla's camp, Mukhram Rajana, Samiti spokesman and Chairman of Gram Sevak Cooperative Society, said."We are against Bainsla shaking hands with the CM. He is not working for the community but is acting as a tout," Rajana said.The sit-in has been facilitated by lack of train service on the Alwar-Mathura section though sufficient forces have been deployed on the site, according to police.

Gujjar forum demands Rajasthan CM's resignation

New Delhi (PTI): A Gujjar organisation on Sunday demanded the resignation of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.The All India Gujjar Sangharsh Samiti, which held a protest here, asked the government to pay compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to relatives of those who were killed in "police firing" during the agitation in that state.Chief patron of the organisation Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Congress MLA from Delhi, said the BJP should remove Raje from her post.He said the government should provide jobs to one of the victims' dependants and said "the Gujjars should be included in the Scheduled Tribe category as it was an election promise of the BJP."Former Uttar Pradesh Minister Narender Bhatti and several Delhi MLAs including Matin Ahmed also participated in the protest.

Gujjar protests loom large on BJP

As the Gujjar unrest reached its tenth day and at least 12 dead bodies from sites of protest in Rajasthan were sent for post mortem, the shadow of these protests loomed large on the BJP's national executive in Delhi, despite the recent poll victory in Karnataka.

The Gujjar agitation forced not only the venue of the national executive to be shifted from Jaipur to Delhi, but saw extensive police cordoning of the BJP headquarters and the Parliament annexe where the meeting was being held. The BJP however made all attempts to ignore the elephant in the room.Party President Rajnath Singh's inaugural address had only two lines on the stir and he did not even deign to refer to the community by name, saying instead, "The sad and unfortunate incidents of violence that have taken place on the issue of reservation have shocked not only the people of Rajasthan but also the entire country." He asked for calm and patience from the people in dealing with the issue. Interestingly, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje remained absent from the meet, she is expected to attend tomorrow's concluding session.
Earlier in the day and even when reporting for various states were being done, several party office bearers, including a senior leader from Uttar Pradesh tried to raise the mishandling of the issue of reservations for Gujjars by the Vasundhara Raje government, but they were hushed up. "We are on a winning streak overall and we do not want to spoil the focus of the meet, which is to prepare for coming elections," said an office bearer of the party.Singh too devoted most of his address to attacking the Congress-led government at the Centre on various counts and projected the BJP as the "obvious frontrunner" for the next Lok Sabha elections. Referring to the Union budget, Rajnath Singh said that the budget was a faulty product but had good marketing and packaging. "Perhaps our finance minister has also fallen prey to the psychology of modern marketing," he said. He said that deputy chairman of the planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia's comment that growth cannot be scarificed at the altar of controlling prices was painful. "I want to ask not just Ahluwalia but also our finance minister and economist prime minister whether development is only possible by crushing the common man under the burden of inflation?" he said.Singh demanded that a special session of Parliament be convened to discuss the agrarian crisis in India along with inflation be called so that a road map can be set out to get Indian farmers out of the morass they are in.

Gujjars agree to post-mortem on police firing victims

Karwadi-Jaipur (PTI): Gujjar agitators on Sunday agreed to allow postmortem on bodies of police firing victims to be conducted by the state authorities, which said they will carry out the autopsies at three agitation sites where the corpses were being kept.Gujjar protesters, who have been holding the bodies for the last several days, decided that the postmortem will be conducted as per the conditions laid down by them in a two-page letter to the state administration.Two of the doctors in each of the five-member teams, which will carry out the autopsies, will be of choice of the Gujjar community, 70-year-old Kirori Singh Bainsla, a retired army colonel, who is spearheading the agitation, said in Pilupura, adjacent to Karwadi in Bharatpur district.The bodies are located in three agitation sites-- Pilupura (12 bodies), Sikandra in Dausa district (six) and Kushalipur-Darra area in Sawaimadhopur district (two). The corpses in Pilupura, which are being kept in metal trunks with ice slabs since the police firing ten days ago, are said to be wilting.In the wake of the letter from Bainsla listing the community's demand on autopsy, the state government has initiated the process of post-mortem at the three areas.Temporary tents would be erected at the three areas for the purpose, S N Thanvi, a senior state government officer who has been camping in Pilupura, told PTI on the phone.

Gujjars unmoved by Gill's removal


JAIPUR: The state government's move to ask Amarjot Singh Gill, the outgoing director general of police, to proceed on a long leave and handing over the charge to KS Bains, seems to have failed to impress the Gujjar agitators.
Describing the decision as "yet another eye-wash" by the state government, the Gujjars have claimed that they are not interested in these "games" played by the Raje government and are only concerned with the recommendation letter alone.
One of the senior leaders of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, Dr Roop Singh, said, "We are not interested in who has been removed and who have become the DGP. The issue at hand is of reservation. Without it, there is no way to bring the stand-off to a justified end."
The state government was reportedly unhappy with Gill over his 'mishandling' of the ongoing Gujjar agitation in which at least 41 people have been killed.
"This is just an eye-wash. It has never been our demand. The state government is directly responsible for the deaths of Gujjars. In our view, they sacrificed their lives for the community," he added.
"It is his decision to quit. We are not sending any signals. This is something between the Chief Minister and the cop," said home minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Gill's removal.
The state government has been on the edge due to the Gujjar agitation for the last nine days. First, at least 17 people, including a policeman, died during the police firing in Bayana and then 22 more persons were killed at Sikandra in Dausa district.
The agitation claimed two more lives in Sawai Madhopur district on Friday taking the death toll to 41.
A section of the Gujjar leadership has gone to the extant of demanding that change in the leadership in the government can only bring justice to those killed in the police firing.
They said that talks were not possible if Vasundhara Raje remains at the helm of affairs. They demanded that chief minister Vasundhara Raje herself resign from the post.
"Firing at Gujjars could not have taken place without the consent of chief minister Vasundhara Raje herself, who seems to have turned a blind eye to the community's demand for reservation since long," a Gujjar leader said while speaking to TOI
Subhashis Mittra
New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) The Gujjar community, which is fighting for Scheduled Tribe status in Rajasthan, is originally an ethnic group that descended on India over 1,500 years ago.
Known by different names like Gurjar, Gurjara, Gujar and Goojar in different states, the Gujjars are said to have come to India between fourth and fifth century at the time of the Huna invasions. They are also said to have descended from the nomadic Khazar tribes.
Some Gujjars claim that the ethnic group is related to the Chechens and the Georgians, and argue that Georgia was traditionally called "Gujaristan". According to some historical accounts, the Gujjars ruled a rich and populous kingdom in the Saurashtra region and later shifted to northern India.
Over the years, the Gujjars were assimilated mainly into the castes of Kshatriya varna, although some groups (such as Gaur Gujjars of central India) are classified as Brahmins. During the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent, many of the Gujjar Hindus converted to Islam.
Historians say that most likely, present day Gujjars are the progeny of intermarriage between early Indo-Aryans and local inhabitants.
In the eighteenth century, several Gujjar chieftains and small kings were in power. A fort at Parlchhatgarh in Meerut District, also known as Qila Parikishatgarh, is ascribed to a Gujjar Raja Nain Singh. PTI




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