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Gujjars to intensify stir for reservation

jaipur Updated: Feb 04, 2008 18:28 IST

IANS
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The Gujjar community plans to intensify the campaign to be included in the Scheduled Castes category by organising a sit-in protest in Jaipur on March 10.

"We have given ample time to the state government. We would now hold 'mahapadav' (sit-in) here Mar 10 and we have requested other communities like Jats, Raputs and Brahmins to support us in our cause," Prahlad Gunjal, convener of Sankyut Gujjar Sangarsh Samiti, told reporters in Jaipur on Monday. "We also hold 50 'mahapanchayats' (mass meets) all over the state," the Gujjar leader added.

"Whichever party lends support to our cause, the Gujjars would support it during the next assembly elections," Gunjal said.

The state government should send a recommendation letter to the central government for granting of tribal status to the community otherwise "it would have to face serious consequences", he said.

The community had earlier had planned a sit-in on Jan 21. But that was deferred after talks with Vishwendra Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Bharatpur.

"At that time we had been assured that a positive response from the government would come within 10 days. But nothing has happened so far, so we have decided to hold mahapadav now," Attar Singh Bhadana, a Gujjar leader, said.

Gujjars, presently belonging to the other backward classes (OBC), held protests all over Rajasthan from May 29 to June 4 demanding their inclusion into the Scheduled Tribes category that would give them better employment and educational opportunities.

Twenty-six people were killed in the violence.