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Talks succeed, Gujjar stir to be called off

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 04, 2007 19:28 IST
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After a week-long violence that claimed 26 lives, Gujjar leaders on Monday agreed to withdraw their agitation for Scheduled Tribe status following 'successful' talks with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia.

At the end of three days of protracted negotiations with Gurjar leaders, the state government decided to set up a three-member high-power committee headed by a retired High Court judge to examine the community's demand for ST status.

The committee will submit its report in three months, Raje announced at a joint press conference with leaders of Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, which had spearheaded the agitation since Tuesday last. 

The Samiti leaders, led by Col (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsla, regretted the violence and the loss of life during the agitation.

'We regret the violence and loss of life including those of two policemen,' they said in a statement after six hours of talks.

Raje told the crowded press conference that the committee set up, as per the provisions stipulated by the Central government, would have an expert on the issue of reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

"We have come to an understanding (with the Samiti) and found a solution through democratic means. We will try to see that justice is done to everyone," she said, appealing to the protesters to restore calm.

The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin of all those killed in the violence.

While 21 people died in police firing and violence during the Gurjar agitation, five persons were killed in clashes between Gurjars and Meenas, who opposed the demand for ST status.

Meenas, who enjoy ST status, have substantial representation in political parties and the government.

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