Review ST status for all castes, say Gujjars | india | Hindustan Times
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Review ST status for all castes, say Gujjars

india Updated: Jul 17, 2007 03:57 IST
KS Tomar

The Gujjar Sangharsh Samiti has demanded that the Scheduled Tribe status given to other communities, including Meenas, be reviewed to decide if it should be continued for them.

Samiti chairman, Col Kirori Singh Bainsala said this while presenting his community’s case to obtain ST status to a three-member Commission looking into the case. Monday was the last day to submit suggestions.

The Gujjar Samiti presented documents to support its claim to be included in the ST category in Rajasthan. The state government had appointed a commission headed by Justice Jas Raj Chopra to look into the demand of the Gujjars.

Gujjar leaders had signed an agreement with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on June 4 to end a violent agitation, which claimed 27 lives.

Col Bainsala said “it is against established principles and law of justice to apply the yardstick to Gujjars alone to include them in ST. It must apply to other castes as well which are getting the benefits of being ST”.

“Meenas should also be subjected to these norms and if they do not qualify, then they must lose their current status,” the chairman said.

“We have submitted one lakh affidavits, historical evidence and documents to prove the backwardness of the Gujjars to justify their demand for ST status,” he said. Dr Roop Singh, another Gujjar leader, said that “more than 250 IAS officials from three districts are responsible for making relevant documents disappear from the secretariat and other offices which could have helped the Gujjars’ case.”

He alleged a conspiracy by “district collectors and patwaris” who sent baseless reports to the state government about the socio–economic conditions of the community.”