At the end of day 4 of the Gujjar agitation, Rajasthan was a state under siege, and the desperate government in Jaipur appeared to be wilting under the strain of the standoff.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking a meeting of CMs of all states with Gujjar populations. She also recommended “4 to 6 per cent” reservation for Gujjars in the category of denotified class of tribals/nomadic tribe, PTI quoted Parliamentary Affairs Minister R.S. Rathore as saying.
Gujjars could be considered as being economically poorer than OBC, the letter said. However, it was up to the Centre to decide on the “sensitive issue” of “whether to shift Gujjars from OBC category to Scheduled Tribe,” Rathore said.
Gujjar leader Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsala welcomed the CM’s letter to the PM, but added that he needed a copy of it before calling off the agitation.
Through the day, a tense standoff continued as both sides appeared stuck to their guns. The army and CRPF swarmed Piloopura, Samogar and Kawadi villages in Bharatpur district, the nerve centre of the agitation. Mobile phone networks were jammed to check rumours. The Gujjars sitting on dharna continued to refuse to cremate their comrades killed in firing at Piloopura and Sikandra in Dausa district.
In Jaipur, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria claimed medical reports showed “not all injured and dead were due to police firing”, which provoked Col Bainsala to retort that the government’s medical report would not be believed by “any sensible person”. “The home minister’s statement will only increase mistrust,” he said.