Gujjar Agitation in Rajasthan puts Railway Connectivity on Edge; 14 trains Cancelled, many diverted

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The stir that erupted following the protest by Gujjar Community continued on the second day, as the members of the Gurjar Community in Rajasthan continued to block railway tracks demanding the implementation of the 5 percent reservation that was promised to them by the Rajasthan government.

Agitating Gujjars sat on railway tracks at Malarna Doongar near Sawai Madhopur, leading to the cancellation of 14 trains and the re-routing of several/

As per the released by Northern Railway CPRO, ‘Due to agitation in Kota Division 12059/12060 Kota – Nizamuddin – Kota Janshatabdi Express, 19803 Kota – Katra express trains journey commencing on 09.02.2019 and 19804 Katra – Kota Express train journey commencing on 10.02.2019 have also been canceled.’

The agitation comes nearly a month after 10 percent quota for the economically weaker sections in the general category in jobs and education was cleared by parliament. The move was introduced as a constitutional amendment, passed in parliament and enacted in a matter of days.

However, the validity of the 10 percent quota will be examined by the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court in while hearing pleas filed against the Quota Bill refused however it seeks Centre’s response on the plea.

Gujjar Community leader Kirori Singh Bainsla started a dharna yesterday (Friday) along with his supporters on the railway tracks in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur district, demanding reservation for five communities including Gujjars.

As quoted by news wire ANI, an agitation member said, ‘We have a good chief minister (Ashok Gehlot) and a good prime minister (Narendra Modi). We want that they listen to the demands of the Gujjar community. It isn’t an tough task for them to provide reservation.”

The Gujjars say if 10 percent reservation for the economically backward can be passed, then why not for them, they added.

The Congress Rajasthan Government taking a quick cognizance on the issue has formed a three-member committee comprising cabinet ministers Raghu Sharma, Vishvendra Singh, and Master Bhanwar Lal to lead parleys with the Gujjar community.

The State Government had assured the Gujjar community of 5 percent reservation in a special category in 2017 after a bout of agitation.

It had planned to expand the reservation for Other Backward Classes from 21 per cent to 26 per cent and give 5 per cent reservation to Gujjars and other castes. After the expansion, the total reservation in the state would have crossed the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court.

The Gujjar Community ever since has held 4 protests from 2007 to 2015. In 2007 and 2008, more than 70 people had died in the clashes during the agitation. In 2010 and 2015 though, only rail and road traffic was disrupted.

The then BJP Government in 2017 passed the bill to raise the reservation for the OBC by five percent now making it to 26% from 21% with a voice vote. However, the Bill introduced by the Rajasthan government was challenged by the opposition and would also be taken to court. After which, Rajasthan High Court put a stay.

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