Gujjars intensify agitation, block several highways

Gujjars intensify agitation, block several highways

Leaders of the Gujjar community intensified their agitations on Sunday and blocked several highways in Rajasthan, inconveniencing the masses. 

Amid the protests, the state government invited the leaders to hold a second round of talks in Jaipur, but the entire community is united in demanding 5 per cent reservation in government jobs.

Earlier on Sunday, Gujjars assembled at the Sikandara town of the Dausa district to offer homage to 21 people killed on the same day in 2008 during a violent agitation. Immediately after the ceremony, the Gujjars blocked National Highway 11 near Dausa and a state highway in the Sawaimadhopur district to build pressure on the state government.

“Yesterday (on Saturday) we had announced intensification of our agitation. Community-members have blocked two highways in different districts of the state. If the government doesn’t come up with a detailed action plan to provide 5 per cent reservation, we will hold state-wide protests from Monday,” said Gujjar leader Himmat Singh.

Meanwhile, the local police in Dausa and Sawaimadhopur diverted traffic away from the blocked roads. There was heavy police deployment, including a CRPF battalion, in Gujjar-dominated areas of the state. Taking a strong step, the police have registered cases against Gujjar leaders Kirori Singh Bainsla, Himmat Singh and 2,000 others under various sections of the law pertaining to rioting, damaging public property, endangering life and criminal conspiracies. Cases have been registered at the Bayana and Sawaimadhopur police stations.

The Gujjar agitation has started taking a heavy toll on life in Rajasthan. The number of tourist coming to Ranthambhore National Park in the Sawaimadhopur district is on a constant decline. All bus services to the Kailadevi shrine in the Karauli town have also been stopped by the Bharatpur district administration. 

Leaves of all government employees in the Bharatpur, Dausa, Alwar, Karauli, Bhilwara, Tonk and Sawaimadhopur districts have been cancelled, while schools and other education institutes have been closed for an indefinite time. Government officials from the Gujjar community have also declared boycott of work in favour of the reservation demand.

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