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Gujjars, state Govt reach agreement

The two sides agree to conduct post-mortem on bodies of police firing victims at the three agitation sites.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2008 23:03 IST

In a sign of thaw in the stand-off between Rajasthan government and Gujjars demanding ST status, the two sides on Sunday agreed to conduct post-mortem on bodies of police firing victims at the three agitation sites where the corpses were being held by protestors.

Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, camping at Karwadi along with his agitating supporters, asked the state government in a letter to carry out the autopsies after AIIMS refused to take up the job.

The government, departing from its earlier stand of not conducting the post-mortem at the protest sites, agreed to send medical teams to Pilupura in Bayana district, Sikandra in Dausa district and Kushali-Darra in Sawaimadhopur district where 38 people lost their lives in police firing since the Gujjar agitation began 10 days ago.

After receiving the letter from Bainsla, the Health Department decided to permit autopsy in temporary tents erected at the three sites on Monday morning, SN Thanvi, a senior government official overseeing the situation, told PTI.

Two of the doctors in each of the teams, which will conduct the autopsies, will be of choice of the Gujjar community, 70-year-old Bainsla said.

The state government was considering sending 14 bodies kept at the Sawai Man Singh hospital in Jaipur to Sikandra where six bodies were already lying with the protestors, official sources said.

However, of the 14 bodies in Jaipur, the autopsy on one was conducted on Saturday. No claimant had so far come forward to receive it, the sources said.

The Gurjar Arakshan Sangarh Samiti, spearheading the agitation for scheduled tribe status for the community, suggested that post-mortem should be conducted early in the morning on Monday, Bharatpur Superintendent of Police Rohit Mahajan said.

Twelve bodies were already lying with the protestors at Pilupura and four corpses which were in the Bharatpur hospital mortuary have been shifted there on the demand of the Samiti, the SP said.

Three medical teams have been sent to Pilupura where tents and surgical facilities were being provided, Thanvi said. The state authorities have also stationed mobile X-ray and sonography machines in Bayana area.

Meanwhile, barring a few incidents of road and train blockade in Dausa district by women Gujjar activists, there were no major protests in the state on Sunday, an official spokesman said.

Vishwendra Singh, a BJP MP and ex-ruler of Bharatpur who wanted to negotiate between the two sides, went to Pilupura and held a meeting in which he appealed to Bainsla to form a committee for dialogue with the state government.

Singh told agitating Gujjars that the peace talks should be held at Pilupura itself. He also said he was in touch with the state government over the issue.