Firing to ward off Gujjars
The Rajasthan Police resorted to firing in Dholpur to ward off the agitating Gujjar community, which was trying to block the Mumbai-Delhi national highway and cripple the road traffic.
As the protest turned violent, three vehicles, including a bus and a car, were set ablaze. The community is clamouring for a five per cent quota in jobs and education. The protestors wanted to cripple the road traffic after blocking the movement of trains between Delhi and Mumbai.
The transit point for train traffic is Sawaimadhopur in Rajasthan. The protestors were seen squatting on the tracks at Malarna Doongar, which led to the cancellation of 23 trains and the diversion of 20 others.
The Mumbai bound trains are being diverted to Ujjain and Itarsi, which has prolonged the journey time, causing undue hardship to several thousands of passengers.
The leader of the Gujjars, Kirori Singh Bainsla, said that the community regrets the inconvenience caused to the masses because of the agitation, but they had no option but to show their anger by staging dharnas and disrupting train movement.
He also said the state government had promised five per cent reservation to the community in its election manifesto.
Vijay Bainsla, another Gujjar leader, said they had been wanting to have talks with the government for the last 20 days. The agitation comes nearly a month after a10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections was cleared by parliament. The move was introduced as a constitutional amendment, passed in Parliament and enacted in a matter of days.
The state government has set up a committee with two ministers and an IAS officer as members for holding talks, but they have made little headway. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that the issue of reservation pertains to a Constitutional amendment and can be sorted out only by the BJP-led government at the Centre.