Gujjar leaders on Tuesday night begun crucial talks with the state government over a demand for 5% reservation, seeking to end a six-day-long logjam which has resulted in a loss of Rs. two crore per day to the railways.
At the time of going to the press, a 13-member delegation representing the Gujjar community huddled with government representatives at the state secretariat to find a solution to the vexed issue, official sources said.
On May 21, the community launched an agitation seeking reservation in government jobs, reviving an issue hanging fire since 2007 and left over 70 people dead.
The agitating Gujjars, who form 7% of the state’s population, have been squatting on the railway track along the vital Delhi-Mumbai route in Bharatpur district, besides blocking the Agra-Jaipur highway in Dausa.
After repeatedly spurning government’s peace overtures, leaders of Gujjar Aarkshan Sangharsh Samiti –- the organisation spearheading the campaign – decided to travel to the state capital for talks.
Earlier, Gujjar leaders were insisting on holding talks at Bayana in Bharatpur.
Gujjar leader Himmat Singh said the samiti’s President and agitation leader Kirori Singh Bainsla would not attend the talks as he was suffering from heat stroke.
Sources said three cabinet ministers -- Rajendra Rathore, Arun Chaturvedi and Hem Singh Bhadana -- met in Jaipur ahead of the talks.
Meanwhile, railway official Archana Joshi said that “due to the Gujjar agitation 35 trains have been cancelled and there is loss to the tune of approximately Rs. 2 crore per day".
Around 10 lakh passengers have also been affected in the last three days, she added.