The eight-day-long deadlock between Gujjars and the Rajasthan government came to an end on Thursday night after the government agreed to introduce a bill ensuring 5% quota for Gujjars and four other castes outside the legal limit of 50% overall reservation in government-run institutions.
The communities would be given reservation as ‘Specially Backward Classes’ under a separate bill.
The government also agreed to bring a separate bill for 14% reservation to economically backward classes beyond the 50% limit.
After a four-hour meeting with Gujjar leaders in Jaipur, parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Singh announced that the state government would pass the bill in the cabinet and the state assembly and then send it for inclusion in the 9th Schedule.
If the bills are included in the 9th Schedule, the number of general category seats would come down to just 31%.
Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti president Kirori Singh Bainsla thanked the government for accepting the communities demand and apologized to the public for the “inconvenience caused”. He said the rail tracks and roads would be cleared soon.
Demanding reservation in public sector jobs, the community took to the railway tracks on May 21 this year.
Hundreds of Gujjars blocked the commercially significant Delhi-Mumbai railway track at Peelu Ka Pura village in Bharatpur district, the Jaipur-Agra national highway and the state highway at Sawai Madhopur.
The Gujjars, who form 7% of total population in the state of Rajasthan, have been protesting since 2006 for a share in the quota pie along with four other castes — Banjara, Gadariya, Raika, and Gadia Luhar.
The characteristically violent annual protests have claimed the lives of 72 people till now.