Gujjars Refuse to Leave Railway Tracks as Protest Enters Day 5; Three Trains Cancelled, 2 Diverted
The protest has been on since February 8.
Sawai Madhopur: Three trains stand cancelled while two others were diverted on Tuesday as Gujjars continue their protests in the district on Tuesday. (Also read: CM Gehlot Appeals to Protesters to Leave Tracks)
ANI added that internet services had been shut till Wednesday in the wake of the protests. The District Collector has also issued a notice to Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, asking him to vacate the railway tracks.
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Protesters have been squatting on the tracks since February 8 seeking five per cent reservation. Consequently, hundreds of trains on the Delhi-Mumbai route have been affected.
In districts like Dholpur, the stir took a violent turn with stone-pelting and some vehicles being torched.
A daily quoted Bainsla as saying, “Five per cent liye bina nahi hatunga (Won’t leave till I get five per cent).” The 82-year-old former Army officer is the convener of Gujjar Arkashan Sangharsh Samiti.
The protesters have been saying that if the Centre could implement 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in general category within a week, the Rajasthan government could also pass the order for 5 per cent reservation for Gujjars.
The Gujjars, who are entitled to 21 per cent reservation in the state under the OBC category along with 1 per cent quota under the Most Backward Caste category, have been demanding a separate reservation of 5 per cent for over a decade.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has asked the protesters to shun violence and voice their demands to the Centre.
He also said that the Congress government in the state was ready for a dialogue with the community but the final decision will have to be taken by the Centre.
“The government is ready to help them, they need to voice out their demands to the Centre, and it is up to the Centre what decision they take,” Gehlot was quoted by ANI as saying.
“Trains have been cancelled or diverted, who is at loss? It is the country which is at a loss. What is the point in staging a protest? I would like to make an appeal, start a dialogue with the government, I can assure you we will do whatever we can,” said Gehlot.
Between February 11 and 13, the railway authorities have announced the cancellation of 37 trains, scheduled to pass through Kota division, in view of the ongoing quota stir.
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