The Gujjars intensified their agitation on Wednesday by blocking roads and railway tracks across Rajasthan after the state's high court rejected a petition seeking 5% reservation in government jobs for the community. The community also announced it would stop supply of milk to Delhi from Thursday.
Railway services on the Delhi-Mumbai route continued to be affected for the third day on Wednesday as more than 24 passenger trains were diverted and six others were cancelled, said Sudhir Chandra Kumar, senior divisional commercial manager of the Kota railway division.
The home ministry dispatched 1,500 personnel from the Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force to assist the state government in maintaining law and order.
Expressing unhappiness over the court verdict, Gujjar leader Col (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsala urged protesters to block roads and railway tracks and disrupt exams and job recruitments across the state.
"Gujjars will stop supply of milk form Thursday," Bainsala said at Peelupura in Bharatpur district, 120 km from Jaipur, where protesters continued to lay siege to the railway tracks.
The community will continue the agitation if the government fails to provide a quota for Gujjars, he said.
The agitators have also blocked the Bayana-Hindon and Hindon-Bharatpur roads, forcing the government to cancel some of its bus services on these routes.
In Ajmer, protesters blocked the national highway and announced a 24-hour Ajmer bandh.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to the Gujjars to stop agitating. "The government will examine the court order and a find a way out," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Rajasthan high court ruled that a 5% "special" reservation could not be granted as the government failed to justify the basis on which the community should be provided such a reservation.
It, however, said the state could continue to provide 1% reservation - within the 50% quota - for Gujjars in government jobs. Protest timeline