Gujjars to hold talks with government in Jaipur

Jaipur: Rajasthan's Gujjar community, staging a sit-in on railway tracks for the last few days to demand five percent reservation in jobs and educational institutes, finally relented on Tuesday and agreed to hold talks with the state government in Jaipur.

"We are going to hold talks with the state government and are sending an 11-member delegation for the same. The talks are likely to be held on Tuesday night or tomorrow morning (Wednesday)," Himmat Singh, spokesperson of Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti, told IANS.

Earlier, the Gujjars were not ready to hold talks in Jaipur. They were adamant on holding talks only if the government's representatives come to Bayana town, a few kilometres from the place where they are squatting since May 21, in Bharatpur district.

Gujjars decided to have talks in Jaipur after the state government sent a letter on Monday evening that the state government was ready for further talks in Jaipur at a time which is convenient for the Gujjars.

Meanwhile, Gujjars continued to sit on the tracks on Tuesday, affecting movement of trains -- including on the vital Delhi-Mumbai sector -- for the sixth day.

The protesting Gujjars also blocked road traffic in couple of places including on tourist important Jaipur-Agra national highway.

Gujjars are demanding reservation under SBC (special backward class) category and that too in the maximum permissible limit of 50 percent reservation.

On Sunday, cases were registered against Bainsla and 12 others for treason, blocking rail and road traffic, damaging public property and railway tracks.

On Saturday, talks were held between a three-member ministerial committee and a six-member delegation of the Gujjars in the premises of a college in Bayana town, a few kilometres from the place where gauges are squatting on railway tracks.

However, the talks failed to make any headway.

The ministerial team that held talks on Saturday comprised Medical and Health Minister Rajendra Rathore, Social Welfare Minister Arun Chaturvedi and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Hem Singh Bhadana.

The sit-in by Gujjars in Pilu Ka Pura area of Bharatpur has affected the movement of over 120 trains so far, including those on the Delhi-Mumbai section, officials said.

Gujjars, demanding reservation for better educational and job prospects, had staged violent protests earlier in 2006-2008, in which at least 67 people lost their lives.

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