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Gujjars intensify stir, put forward new demands to Rajasthan Government

December 25, 2010 - Jaipur

The Gujjar community has intensified their agitation demanding five per cent reservation in government jobs and educational agitations in Rajasthan.

Gujjar leader Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla has put forward new demands asking the state government to put new recruitment on hold and take steps to ensure reservation for the community within a month, television channels reported.

The agitators have disrupted the movement of trains along railway tracks on the Jaipur-Delhi route, as well as road routes. The Gangapur-Lalsot route and the Dausa-Bharatpur-Agra highway have also been reportedly affected by the protests.

The disrupted Jaipur-Delhi rail track has affected movement of 42 trains, which were diverted, cancelled or partially cancelled. Twenty trains have been diverted and 12 cancelled due to the ongoing agitation in Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan.

The Gujjars have made it clear that they will continue their siege on rail track at Pilukapura until their demands are met.

On Friday night, Gujjar community leaders held a meeting with a three-member ministerial panel formed by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, but the outcome of the talks was unclear.

A delegation of around a dozen Gujjars met state Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Transport Minister B K Sharma and Energy Minister Jitendra Singh, who are members of the committee.

It was not disclosed where the meeting took place but sources say the negotiations with Gujjars were on.

Gujjars stepped up their agitation following a Rajasthan High Court order that said members of the community could not be given special reservation in government jobs. On Friday, they occupied Jaipur-Delhi rail tracks and disrupted road traffic in Sawaimadhopur district in Rajasthan.

Barring an incident of stone pelting, the bandh remained peaceful in most areas of Dausa district even as adamant Gujjars led by their leader Kirori Singh Bainsla continued to squat on the Delhi-Mumbai rail tracks at Pulukapura.

Agitators blocked the Gangapur-Lalsot route in Sawai Madhopur District while the traffic movement was also affected on Dausa-Bharatpur-Agra highway. The state roadways did not run any bus on the highway and Kotputli-Alwar in view of the protest.

Dhariwal appealed to Gujjar leaders to call off their agitation and assist the government in "quantifiable" data collection exercise to speed up their case.

"The state government is committed to give these communities five per cent reservation and we appeal Gujjar leaders to withdraw the agitation and come forward to assist us in arranging the quantifiable data in order to submit it to OBC commission as directed by the high court," Dhariwal told reporters on Friday.

He assured that one per reservation to Gujjars and other communities under the limit of 50 per cent will continue in the state services.


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