Gujjars to stop milk supply, 5 lakh to court arrest
The Gujjar community on Sunday decided to stop supplying milk to dairies and customers throughout the state in an attempt to put pressure on the state government. The community wants the state to recommend to the Centre that they be granted ST status.
Thousands of Gujjars have also decided to participate in the Jail Bharo movement to fill up temporary jails set up by the state government.
A total of 42 Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) officers have also been deputed in 10 districts to maintain law and order during the agitation. Some employees' leave applications have also been cancelled to assist the administration.
Home Secretary VS Singh said: "700 buses will be kept ready to take the protestors to the temporary jails. District police officials have made some preventive arrests. Lists of Gujjars against whom cases were registered during the May-June agitation have been sent to all police stations in the state. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje has instructed all ministers and top officials to be present in the districts during the Jail Bharo agitation."
IG (jails) JK Sharma said: "We will keep records of every person the addresses, photographs, thumb impressions. If anyone tries to flee from the jails, he will be declared an absconder."
The Gujjars provide 60-70% of the milk supplied to cities, small towns, villages. The Rajasthan Saras dairy gets about 7 of 13 lakh litres it supplies daily from the community.
Gujjar leader Col Kirori Singh Bainsala held talks with BJP president Dr Mahesh Sharma that did not yield any tangible result.
Bainsala told HT that the Jail Bharo movement would be peaceful and the Gujjars would not leave jails till the state government meets their demand.
"By a conservative estimate, over 5 lakh Gujjars will stay in the temporary jails created by the administration in 7 divisions."
"The community's main source of livelihood is milk production and they have decided to stop the supply for an indefinite period. Everyone will participate in the agitation," he said.
President of the Tonk Milk Producers Association Ram Dayal Gujjar said: "It is a do-or-die situation for the Gujjars. If anyone goes against the collective decision of not supplying milk, he will be fined Rs 5100."
"The government is trying to clear the air about the misunderstandings among the Gujjars. But some people with vested interests are trying to fish in the troubled waters, which the state government will not allow," said state BJP chief Mahesh Sharma.