Gujjars demanding quota block rly tracks

Gujjars demanding quota block rly tracks

Gujjars are demanding implementation of the 5% reservation that was promised to them by the Rajasthan government.

At least 20 trains were affected on Friday after hundreds of people from the Gujjar community in Rajasthan protested at railway tracks at Sawai Madhopur, about 160 km from Jaipur.

Gujjars are demanding the implementation of the 5% reservation that was promised to them by the Rajasthan government. 

Due to the protest, four trains were terminated, whereas several were diverted after protesters sat on railway tracks in Sawai Madhopur.

Gujjar leader Kirodi Singh Bainsla who is spearheading the protest, told DH, "We had asked the state government to clear its stand on the reservation to the communities in government jobs and educational institutes. But the government hasn't responded so far. We want a 5% reservation". 
In January, Bainsla held a  'Maha Panchayat' at Malarna Dungar in Sawai Madhopur district, after which he gave a 20-day "ultimatum" to the state government. The deadline lapsed on Friday.
The state government has formed a three-member committee, all cabinet ministers, to lead talks with the Gujjar community. 

Neeraj Kumar Pawan, Registrar cooperative department, who has been appointed as a mediator on behalf of the government, told DH, "We are trying to resolve the issue. A team of three ministers have been appointed. Administration and police are keeping a tight vigil and communication are being restored".

Reacting to the efforts of the state government, Bainsla said, "the state government should not forget their promise. We cannot be fooled."

However, he assured that the protest will be led peacefully. 
The protest comes after 10% quota in jobs and education for the economically weaker sections in the general category was cleared by Parliament. The Gujjars say if 10% reservation for the economically backward can be passed, then why not for the same can be done for them.
However, the validity of the 10% quota will be examined by the Supreme Court. The government has argued that since the bill provides reservation on basis of income, not caste, it was not subject to the 50% bar.
Earlier, the Rajasthan government had assured the Gujjar community of 5% reservation in a special category in 2017 after a series of agitation took place. It had planned to expand the reservation for Other Backward Classes from 21% to 26% and give 5% reservation to Gujjars, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria in government jobs and educational institutions.
Currently, these communities are getting 1% separate reservation under the legal limit of 50% under the most-backward category in addition to the OBC reservation.
The bill to this effect, which was introduced in the monsoon session of the state assembly in 2017, was put on hold by the Rajasthan High Court after an appeal against it. So far the community has held multiple protests. The worst was in 2008 when 70 people died in the clashes during the agitation.