Gujjar leader Col Kirori Singh Bainsla passes away
Prominent Gujjar leader and convenor of the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla died on Thursday due to prolonged illness. He was 84.
Early on Thursday morning, he was taken to a private hospital where he passed away during treatment.
Born in Mundia village of Karauli district of Rajasthan, Bainsla was a teacher, but followed in the footsteps of his father and soon joined the Indian Army. Recruited in the Rajputana Rifles, Colonel Bainsla had fought in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war.
After retirement, he took up the cause of quota in jobs and education for Gujjars. In 2007 and 2008, the quota agitation led by the Gujjar leader went out of hand, and over 70 people were killed in police firing and other violent incidents during the protest, which included rail and road blockades in the eastern Rajasthan districts of Bharatpur, Karauli, Dausa and Sawai Madhopur.
The Gujjar leader had blamed the police for the violence and loss of lives during the agitation.
Following a prolonged agitation, the Rajasthan government allowed 5% reservation for Gujjars and four other nomadic communities – Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya – in jobs and education by creating a Most Backward Class (MBC) category for them.
A prominent face of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gujjar vote bank in the state, Kirori Singh Bainsla, and his son had joined the party in 2019, after being actively involved in the movement for over 14 years.
He is survived by three sons and a daughter - his eldest son Daulat Singh Bainsla retired as a colonel; Jai Singh Bainsla is serving in the army; daughter Sunita Bainsla is an IRS officer; and Vijay Bainsla is active in social service and politics.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed condolence on his demise.
“The news of the passing away of Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla is extremely sad. As the head of the Gujjar reservation movement, Bainsla fought a long battle for the reservation of the MBC class. If the MBC class got reservation today, then the credit goes to one person, that it is Colonel Bainsla,” Gehlot tweeted.
“His contribution in the army for the country and to the Gujjar society will be unforgettable. He discussed many times about the issues of the society. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family at this difficult time. May God give them strength to bear this loss and may the departed soul rest in peace,” he said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla tweeted, “Condolences on the demise of Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla, a strong leader of the social movement. He fought lifelong for social rights. May the departed soul rest in peace, my condolences to the family and supporters. Om Shanti.”
Bainsla had contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2009 on a BJP ticket, but lost to the Congress candidate by a thin margin.