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Talks fail, Gujjar stir on

Talks between agitating Gujjars and the Rajasthan government's emissary, state energy minister Jitendra Singh, ended inconclusively on Sunday as the protesters did not relent on their demand for a 5% quota in government jobs.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2010 00:34 IST
HT Correspondent

Talks between agitating Gujjars and the Rajasthan government's emissary, state energy minister Jitendra Singh, ended inconclusively on Sunday as the protesters did not relent on their demand for a 5% quota in government jobs.

Singh, a Gujjar himself, said the state government was committed to providing reservation to the community.

"Our community has been neglected and deprived of government jobs and it is stinging me too," Singh said at Peelupura in Bharatpur district where the Gujjars have been sitting on the railway tracks for the past week.

"I am carrying my resignation in my pocket and will submit it if the state fails to provide 5% reservation to the Gujjars," Singh said. But the crowd refused to buy his assurance.

Colonel (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsala, convener of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti that is spearheading the agitation, said he was not satisfied with the government's reply.

"We have given 7 days to the government to give us a satisfactory reply, only then will we consider ending our agitation," Bainsala said.

The protesters cornered Singh and dared him to sit with them on the tracks. "I invite the minister to sit with us... to press for our demand," Gujjar leader Capt (retd) Har Prasad Tanwar said. Singh ignored him and discussed the matter with other leaders.

Meanwhile, train services between Delhi and Mumbai continued to be affected for the seventh day. Forty trains were cancelled and there was no movement of trains on the Jaipur-Delhi, Delhi-Mumbai, Jaipur-Kota and Ajmer-Indore routes in Dausa, Bharatpur, Bhilwara and Tonk districts.