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Three Gujjar employees man Karwadi railway track

The Gujjar community is fighting for ST status, but Matre Singh and two other Gujjars consider manning the railway crossing their "prime job".
PTI | By Neelabh Srivastava, Karwadi
UPDATED ON MAY 26, 2008 12:41 PM IST

Their community members are fighting on the streets demanding ST status for themselves. But 45-year-old Matre Singh and two other Gujjars consider manning the railway crossing in Gujjars, the epicenter of the agitation, their "prime job".

The railway crossing some distance away from the Bayana Railway Station on the Delhi-Mumbai rail route which is currently under seize, is being manned by the three railway employees round-the-clock.

With the Gujjar agitation, which started on Friday last, turning violent, the three people are maintaining a close vigil at the 214 B railway gate between Bayana and Dumaria railways station, as they consider their duty a national task.

Only a few kms from this gate, the agitators are sitting on the damaged tracks demanding ST status. "All three of us are present here round-the-clock. We have been instructed to coordinate the duties amongst us and not leave the post," Singh said.

When asked about the agitation by his community members and his views about it, Matre Singh spells out his loyalty in clear terms.

"I am here for my department and nation's duty. It is my responsibilty to guard the track which I will always ensure, come what may," he said. "Some community members expect me to join the agitation, but I told them that this job has given me roti and respect, which I will always uphold," Matre said.

The railway crossing which witnesses a lot traffic is open only for around eight hours a day. "Every 5-10 minutes a train, both passenger and goods pass through. A lot of traffic piles up on both sides of the gate as the crossing witnesses two trains crossing at one time," he said.

The last passenger train to pass through this railway crossing was Swarna Mandir mail at 11:25 hrs on Friday, he added.

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