Impasse persists; Gujjars intensify stir
Agitating Gujjars on Saturday refused to meet a 3-member team of IAS officers sent by the Rajasthan government to end the stand-off over the reservation row, and intensified their stir laying siege to more rail tracks and roads.india Updated: Dec 25, 2010 21:42 IST
Agitating Gujjars on Saturday refused to meet a 3-member team of IAS officers sent by the Rajasthan government to end the stand-off over the reservation row, and intensified their stir laying siege to more rail tracks and roads.
Soon after their arrival in Bayana, some 12-km from the epicentre of the agitation Pilukarpura in Bharatpur district, the team appealed to Gujjars to hold talks but their leaders firmly refused to meet the officers.
"We are demanding five per cent reservation and we will hold talks only after the agenda of any meeting is five per cent reservation only," Gujjar leader Roop Singh said.
Principal Secretary (Home) GS Sandhu, Principal Secretary (Education) Ashok Sampatram and Commercial Tax Commissioner Niranjan Arya, who arrived by a helicopter, are camping in a government school here, officials said.
On day six of their agitation, Gujjars occupied Ajmer-Indore and Jaipur-Kota rail tracks in Bhilwara and Tonk districts respectively disruptig movement of trains.
In all, movement of at least 50 trains have been hit by the ongoing Gujjar stir, the officials said.
The protesters, demanding five per cent quota in jobs and educational institutions, had already occupied rail tracks on Jaipur-Delhi and Delhi-Mumbai routes in Dausa and Bharatpur districts respectively.
Road traffic on the Jaipur-Agra national highway was affected as thousands of Gujjars held a meeting in Dausa, the officials said.
The agitators also blocked roads on Nizampur, Jaipur and Chidawa routes in Jhunjhunu district, they said.
However, there was no report of any violence from trouble-torn districts, the officials said.
Gujjars held meetings at Patoli in Dausa, Kotputli in Jaipur and at Dholpur and decided to step up their agitation to mount pressure on the government for fulfilment of their demands.
The agitators also blocked roads at Camery, Devlane, Gudhla, Gatka and a few other places in Bharatpur district and on the Gangapur-Lalsot route in Sawaimadhopur.
The state roadways ran 18 additional buses between Jaipur and Delhi in the wake of cancellation and diversion of trains.
The roadways did not ply buses on Jaipur-Bharatpur and other routes in Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Bharatpur and nearby areas, the officials said.
Refusing to meet the government team, Roop Singh, a close aide of Kirori Singh Bainsla, who is spearheading the stir, said "this is a political issue. Politicians should come here for talks."
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and General Secretary and former state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of supporting the stir and disturbing law and order in the state.
"Nitin Gadkari and Vasundhara Raje want eruption of violence. They want roads to be blocked and people should occupy rail tracks. I condemn this," he told reporters.
First Published: Dec 25, 2010 21:39 IST