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SC to hear petition on Gujjar violence

The apex court agree to examine a petition that accused the Gujjar community of holding several parts of the country to ransom by indulging in violence.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2008 20:40 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine a petition that accused the Gujjar community of holding several parts of the country to ransom by indulging in violence on the community's demand seeking ST status.

A vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and GS Singhvi posted the matter for hearing on June 19 after counsel Pallav Shishodia for petitioner, Lakhan Singh, mentioned the petition before it.

It was alleged in the petition that the Rajasthan Government despite specific directions from the High Court to act tough in preventing the violence had been going soft on Gujjar agitators due to political compulsions.

Singh in his petition submitted that Gujjar leaders like Kirori Singh Bainsla and Roop Singh had committed contempt of the Rajasthan High Court by defying the various orders passed by it.

According to the petitioner, the Rajasthan High Court in a series of directions had restrained the Gujjar community from indulging in violence, "rasta roko" and bandhs that could violate the fundamental rights of the citizens.

But despite the directions, the Gujjar community had resorted to large-scale violence in Rajasthan and several other northern States to out pressure on the Government to granting it ST status, the petition said.

The petitioner said that on May 20, the sub-divisional magistrate, Hindaun, had issued arrest warrants against Bainsala and Roop Singh but the arrests were not executed by the police due to alleged instructions from the higher-ups in the State.

The petitioner listed a number of incidents during the past one month wherein the Gujjar community had indulged in "rasta roko," disruption of train services and normal life.

The petitioner said though he had approached the High Court, a vacation judge had tagged the matter along with other connected matters for hearing on July 3.

"The petitioner is constrained to approach this court (apex court) in these extraordinary circumstances to seek immediate relief and succour so as to avoid enormous public sufferings and hardships," the petition added.