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'Release Gujjars, withdraw all charges'

A deadlock has been created in the resumption of the main dialogue at Jaipur due to new pre-conditions put forth by Col Kirori Singh Bainsla. KS Tomar reports.
Hindustan Times | By KS Tomar
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2008 08:12 PM IST

A deadlock has been created in the resumption of the main dialogue at Jaipur due to new preconditions put forth on Tuesday by chairman of Rajasthan Gujjars Arakshan Samiti, Col Kirori Singh Bainsla. He has asked for the release of Gujjars women and men protesters lodged in jails and also demanded the withdrawal of murder charges registered against 20 senior community leaders including himself.

It had been agreed to have main the dialogue at Jaipur during the preliminary talks which were held between the state Government representatives and 37 member strong Gujjars delegation at Bayana on Monday.

Gujjars leaders are shocked over the new move by the Rajasthan government to register cases of murders, damage to railways tacks etc against Col Bainsla and his associates at a Bayana police station in Bharatpur district.

The preliminary dialogue had ended on conciliatory note and Gujjars leaders had agreed to start the next round of dialogue at Jaipur on Tuesday, but the process has been derailed for the time being.

The Rajasthan government’s chief negotiator and principal secretary SN Thanvi told Hindustan Times on phone from Bayana that efforts were on to bring Col Bainsla on the negotiating table.

Thanvi said, "We had made it clear to the Gujjars leaders during first round of talks that it was not in government’s hand to release 25 women who have bee sent to judicial custody by the judge after the registration of cases against them at Banijui police station in Dausa district under Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act and Railways Act."

"Similarly, the government is helpless to release the fifteen Gujjars protestors who were arrested from SMS hospital after they were discharged by the doctors. The cases have been registered against them also at Bayana police station for damaging the railways tracks. They are in the judicial custody and judge is competent to grant them bail," he said.

Police had admitted 15 agitating Gujjars at SMS hospital on May 24 after the police opened fire at Sikandra in Dausa district to disperse the crowd which had attacked the police station. The police had arrested them on Sunday when they were discharged by the doctors.

Spokesman of the Gujjars Arakshan Samiti Dr Roop Singh said: "The government is not sincere in resolving the crisis. It has vitiated the atmosphere by registering the cases against Col Bainsla and others. The government is not ready to release protesting Gujjars women and men who have been sent to the jail which creates a needle of suspicion over its commitment and integrity to address to our demands."

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