Centre holds meeting on Gujjar agitation
With the intensity of the Gujjar agitation coming down, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Friday reviewed the situation arising out of the 14-day-long protests in Rajasthan.
In a meeting, attended by National Security Advisor MK Narayanan, Tribal Affairs Ministry Secretary GB Mukherjee and other officials, Patil discussed the pros and cons of granting Scheduled Tribe or de-notified tribe status to that community.
The meeting comes in the wake of the Centre preparing its reply to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommending four to six per cent reservation for Gujjars in the category of de-notified or nomadic tribe, sources said.
Mukherjee briefed the Tribal Affairs Ministry's view on granting ST or de-notified or nomadic tribe status to a particular community.
The Centre is likely to dispatch a letter to Rajasthan government asking it to take initiative for granting the agitating community de-notified or nomadic tribe status, a model adopted in Maharashtra.
The Centre is also likely to ask the Vasundhara Raje government to send a proposal incorporating all the required criteria and comment, if it wanted grant of ST status to the Gujjars, official sources said.
The criteria are -- primitive traits, distinctive culture, shyness of contact with the community at large, geographical isolation and backwardness (social and economic).