Gujjar quota stir turns violent

Gujjar quota stir turns violent

Gujjar community members block NH-58 near Ajmer on Sunday. (PTI)

Dholpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Ajay Singh said a mob fired 8-10 rounds in the air on the Agra-Morena Highway. The highway was blocked ahead of the firing by the protestors.

"Protesters from the Gujjar community pelted stones, injuring four jawans. The protesters also set ablaze three police vehicles, including two jeeps and a bus."

The police retaliated with tear gas shells to disperse the mob. The traffic movement resumed a few hours later.

Around seven trains were cancelled and two partially cancelled, whereas nine trains were diverted in Sawai Madhopur district.

A North Western Railway (NWR) spokesperson said Hazrat Nizamuddin-Udaipur and Udaipur-Hazrat Nizamuddin trains were cancelled, while Bayana-Jaipur and Jaipur-Bayana were partially cancelled between Bayana and Sawai Madhopur. So far, 200 trains have been partially cancelled or diverted.

The Gujjars are holding a sit-in protest on rail tracks in Malarna Dungar of Sawai Madhopur district since Friday demanding 5% quota to five communities, including Gujjars, in employment and educational institutes.

On Saturday, a state government delegation led by Cabinet minister Vishvendra Singh met Kirori Singh Bainsla, who is spearheading the agitation, urging him to hold talks at a nearby venue. But no agreement could be reached Bainsla refused to call off the protest.

Bainsla, head of the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, told DH: "They should have given us reservation long back. We will continue our protest for 5% reservation to Gujjars, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and the Gadaria communities in government jobs and educational institutions, as promised earlier by the state government."

Suspension of trains led to the postponement of recruitment exams for agriculture supervisors, scheduled to be held on Sunday in Kota and Jaipur, and recruitment test for Anganwadi supervisors, scheduled to be held in Ajmer on Sunday.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was in Delhi on Saturday, appealed to the Gujjar community members to vacate the tracks.

Gehlot said the state government has done its bit on the issue and now the demand can only be fulfilled through an amendment to the Constitution for which the Gujjars should approach the prime minister and Union home minister.