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Rajasthan not to use force

Sunny Sebastian

State Cabinet to write to Manmohan to review ST policy

JAIPUR: With post-mortem examination and the last rites yet to be performed on the bodies of 18 persons killed in police firing, the Rajasthan government on Monday made it clear that a commando operation would be the “last option” for the recovery of the bodies now in the custody of large congregations of Gujjars at Karwadi village in Bayana tehsil of Bharatpur and at Sikandra in Dausa district. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore told journalists here that the “Gujjar reservation is a national issue. The Cabinet has decided to write to the Prime Minister requesting him to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers to review the National Scheduled Tribe Policy document of 2006.” The Chief Minister would also write to the Prime Minister recommending placing Gujjars in the category of de-notified tribes, setting aside a reservation of 4-6 per cent for them, he said.

Twelve bodies being kept at Karwadi are four days old while six, kept in Sikandra, are of the victims of the police firing there on Saturday. During the day there were rumours of an imminent crackdown at Karwadi.

The day witnessed sporadic violence when more than 36 towns observed a bandh to protest against the police firing. Six wagons of a goods train on its way to Agra derailed near Bandikui station in Dausa district due to tampering of rail tracks, allegedly by the Gujjars.

“We could have recovered the bodies in less than two hours using force. However, we will not do that considering the chances of further bloodshed,” Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said.

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