Gujjar quota agitation: Highways, railway tracks blockedtext_fields
Jaipur/Dholpur: The stalemate between the protesting Gujjar community and the Rajasthan government over quota in jobs and education continued on the fourth consecutive day Monday, as agitators blocked roads and railway tracks.
Protesters, led by Kirori Singh Bainsla, have been squatting on railway tracks in Sawai Madhopur district since Friday evening, demanding five per cent reservation for the Gujjar, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and the Gadaria communities.
The sit-in has affected the movement of over 300 trains through the region so far.
On Monday, members of the community blocked the Agra-Jaipur Highway in Dausa, Jaipur-Kota Highway in Tonk and a few other roads in Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts.
They also blocked the NH-11 and continued their blockade from previous days at other places.
However, there was no violence and the agitation was largely peaceful.
The Hindoli-Uniyara National Highway was also blocked by protesters in Bundi district near Topa village.
"Protestors blocked the Agra-Jaipur highway at Sikandar in Dausa, Jaipur-Kota Highway at Banas pulia in Tonk and other roads in Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts on Monday. The situation is peaceful and there is no report of any violence so far," Director General of Police (Law and Order) M L Lathar said.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot reiterated that the agitating Gujjar community members vacate the railway tracks and come forward to hold dialogue.
He said the state government will do whatever it possibly can to address their issues and they should raise their demand before the Centre.
"I want to appeal to the community members to hold talks. Whatever will be possible at the state government's level will be done. They should also raise their demand before the Centre," Gehlot told reporters in Jaipur.
He said that the one per cent reservation the community was getting at present was because of the decision taken by the former Congress government led by him.
"Several trains have been cancelled, many diverted. It is a loss for the country and its economy. People are suffering and I would appeal them to hold talks," the chief minister said.
Bainsla, who along with his supporters began the indefinite sit-in on railway tracks in Malarna Dungar of Sawai Madhopur on Friday evening, has so far refused to back off.
"We will not move from the tracks unless the announcement is made. There is only one demand, that is five per cent reservation," Bainsla's son Vijay Singh said.
A state government delegation, including Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh and IAS officer Neeraj K Pawan, had held talks with the protestors on Saturday but they refused to end their agitation until their demand is met through an official announcement.
"There is no concrete proposal from the government," Vijay Singh said.
Meanwhile, nearly 250 people have been booked in connection with the violence and arson which took place in Dholpur district on Sunday.
Dholpur Superintendent of Police Ajay Singh said around 50 of the accused have been identified and efforts were on to identify the others.
He said police parties were patrolling the district to maintain law and order and proper security arrangements were in place at highways and railway tracks.