Bail granted to 25 women, Gujjars agree to resume talks

JAIPUR: The decks were cleared on Thursday for the resumption of talks between the Rajasthan government and the Gujjar representatives after the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Dausa, granted bail to 25 Gujjar women arrested at Bandikui last week for blocking the Delhi-Jaipur rail route. Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, who had laid their release as one of the conditions for resuming the talks after the first round held at Bayana on Monday, relented thereafter. Additional District and Sessions Judge Bhuvan Goel granted bail to the women on a personal bond of Rs.10, 000 and a surety. The previous day, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bandikui, rejected their bail pleas on the ground that the matter was outside the court’s purview. The women are charged under various sections of Indian Penal Code and the Railway Act. A Gujjar delegation of 22-24 members, handpicked by Mr. Bainsla, was on their way from Bayana on a 220 km journey to Jaipur, where the second round of talks are scheduled at the Harish Chandra Mathur Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration (HCM RIPA) on Friday. The authorities have arranged a bus for their travel with escort jeeps. The talks are scheduled to begin at 10.30 a.m. The government has named a seven-member team, a mix of Ministers, politicians and senior bureaucrats to talk to the Gujjar delegation, comprising mostly of middle-level leaders and some academicians— from outside the team, which is directly leading the 21-day long violence-ridden agitation. The government team comprises Ministers Laxminarayan Dave and Sanwarlal Jat, senior bureaucrat S.N.Thanvi, who participated in the first round of talks, and senior leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Ramdas Agarwal and Omprakash Mathur. The other members are Sunil Arora, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, and Malavika Pawar, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare. The Gujjar delegation this time has a composite character having Muslim Gujjars such as Masood Choudhary, Vice Chancellor of the Baba Gulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri, and leaders from outside Rajasthan, including Sukhbir Singh, Sher Singh Tanwar and Subahsh Choudhary, besides Rambir Singh Bhiduri, MLA from Delhi, and V.C. Choudhary, personal physician of Mr. Bainsla. “No leader from the Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti is there,” Gujjar leader Roop Singh said, indicating that there would be more rounds in future when the locals join the talks. “Let us hope something meaningful emerges from tomorrows talks,” Dr. Roop Singh said. “The parleys have been on for the past four and half years with the government. Mr.Agarwal and at least two of the bureaucrats named for talks are familiar with the issues involved,” he noted.

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