Gujjar quota stir turns violent as agitators open fire, burn vehicles

The agitation by the Gujjar community demanding 5 per cent reservation in government jobs and education in Rajasthan turned violent on Sunday as the agitators opened fire, burnt vehicles and pelted stones at police in Dholpur district, about 280 km east of Jaipur. The police retaliated with tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

Around half a dozen policemen were injured in the skirmish.

Superintendent of Police Dholpur, Ajay Singh said the activists of Gujjar community in afternoon jammed the Agra-Morena highway. The police was standing few meters away from the site; the agitators started pelting stones on police and burnt three police vehicles. The police fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

He said the agitators climbed the nearby houses on the sides of the highway and opened fire from country made pistols. “The situation is under control and around 4-6 police personnel received injuries in the incident,” said Singh.

Meanwhile the community activists under Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti continued to block railway tracks near Malrana Dungar railway station in Sawai Madhopur on the third day of the agitation under the leadership of Kirori Singh Bainsla.

State health minister Raghu Sharma, who is member of ministerial committee constituted by the state government to hold talk with Gujjar community leaders, said, “The government intentions are clear and doors for talks are open. On Saturday tourism minister Vishwendra Singh had visited the tracks to talk with community leaders. We appeal the activists to maintain peace and harmony, only then positive results can be reached.”

Sharma said that while the community’s demands are justified “the government has its limits”.

The stir affected rail traffic: two trains have been cancelled, while seven trains were diverted, two partially cancelled said an official of the North Western Railway.

Bainsla said the community will continue their protest demanding 5 per cent reservation to the Gujjars in government jobs and educational institutions, as promised by the government in its election manifesto.

“We will continue the dharna on the rail tracks. No compromise was made with the government delegation. We want a 5 per cent reservation order,” Bainsla had said Saturday.

Source: HT

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