Six days on, Rajasthan tense but calm
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Six days on, Rajasthan tense but calm

Gujjar leaders have agreed to participate in the ongoing dialogue with the state government to resolve the current crisis, report KS Tomar & Siddhartha S Bose.

jaipur Updated: Jun 04, 2007 05:40 IST

After initial hiccup, a decisive round of talks between Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and chairman of the Gujjar Sangharsh Samiti (GSS) Colonel Kirori Singh Baisala was set to begin on Sunday night to resolve the current volatile situation in Rajasthan.

Baisala, along with his delegation, was brought to Jaipur under heavy army and police escort. In view of the Meenas’ aggressive posture, the GSS leaders were brought through village roads, which took about four and half hours to reach Jaipur.

The state, meanwhile, remained calm after a week of violent clashes that led to the death of over 30 persons.

Baisala on Sunday agreed to participate in the ongoing dialogue with the state government to resolve the current crisis in Rajasthan.

Baisala's decision to join the talks came after Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje offered her assurance to ensure the safety of the Gujjars and their property.

Baisala had refused to join the talks earlier in the day when a boy from Balaji was kidnapped and there were attacks on trucks carrying supplies to Gujjar demonstrators.

The GSS chairman told HT: "I wanted to be sure about the security of my people. The chief minister promised to protect my people and their property from the Meenas, and hence I changed my decision."

Baisala claimed that the Meenas had attacked and burnt two ration trucks of Gujjars as the police silently watched. State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said: "We have addressed the points raised by chairman of GSS and proper security measures had been taken to maintain the peace. The police have been given instructions to be vigilant and check any incidents of violence. "

Meanwhile, tension near the Gujjar blockade in Patoli on the Jaipur-Agra highway decreased after community leaders agreed to cremate the bodies of six persons who had died in clashes with the police last Tuesday. Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Kanhaiya Lal said: "The deceased were cremated in their villages."

Gujjars and Meenas continued to confront each other in at least six places in eastern Rajasthan. No violence was reported.

Nathu Singh Gujjar MLA said that seven BJP legislators would meet party president Rajnath Singh in Delhi on Monday and apprise him about the situation.

The Meenas have stepped-up pressure on the CM, with two ministers threatening to resign if the government accepted the Gujjars' demand.

First Published: Jun 04, 2007 01:43 IST