New Delhi: The ongoing reservation stir by members of Gujjar community over demand for a 5 per cent reservation in Rajasthan entered the fourth day on Monday. Several trains running on Western Railway route were cancelled or diverted on Sunday. Agitators had blocked the railway tracks in Sawai Madhopur-Bayana section.
A minister from Rajasthan, Bhanwar Lal, said, “Would like to appeal to Gujjar community that please do not resort to violence, protest peacefully. I would also like to appeal to Bainsla Ji to send his team for dialogue and we will discuss as to how their demands can be met within limits of Constitution.”
On Sunday, a clash also broke out between the police and protesters at Dholpur Highway. Several vehicles were set on fire and incidents of stone-pelting were also reported.
Speaking to the media, Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla had said, “We will stay here until a decision is taken until we get 5% reservation.”
On Saturday, 14 trains were cancelled and 4 were diverted due to stir. In the wake of the protest, the Rajasthan Staff Selection Board had also postponed the Agricultural Supervisor Direct Recruitment-2018 exam, which was scheduled on February 10 in Jaipur and Kota.
It is to be noted here that the Gujjar community had been demanding a 5 per cent quota. Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (GASS) leader Kirori Singh Bainsla had said, “We want a 5 per cent reservation. The government hasn’t responded to my request. So, I am going to do an agitation. The government should give… I don’t know where they give from.” He also demanded reservation for four other castes _ Gujjar, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria _ in government jobs and educational institutions.
Last month, Bainsla had given 20-day ultimatum which ended on Friday. The leader started to protest after holding maha panchayat. On October 26, 2018, the Rajasthan government passed a bill which increased other backward classes from 21 per cent to 26 per cent.
It must be noted that Gujjars in Rajasthan already have 1 per cent reservation in the most backward category but are demanding 5 per cent quota under the legal limit of 50 per cent reservation. Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who is a Gujjar himself, said there won’t be any further injustice to the community.