Gujjars' protest set to intensify as first round of talks with Rajasthan govt remains inconclusive

Protest by Gujjars over job reservation is set to intensify as the first round of talks between Rajasthan government-constituted ministerial committee and six-member Gujjar delegation remained inconclusive on Saturday.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Jaipur /bharatpur
UPDATED ON MAY 24, 2015 12:06 AM IST
Protest by Gujjars over the issue of job reservation is set to intensify as the first round of talks between Rajasthan government and the Gujjar delegation remained inconclusive on Saturday.

"The government did not come to us with any concrete formula to ensure 5% reservation within limit of 50%. The ministers just called us for tea and nothing else. We will intensify our stir from Sunday onwards" said Gujjar Aarkashan Sangharsh Samiti spokesperson Himmat Singh.

The Gujjars have been protesting in Bharatapur district for last three days for 5% reservation in government jobs and educational institutes.

Following the failure of talks, the Rajasthan government proposed further talks at Jaipur but Himmat Singh said no talks would be held unless the government came up with "something concrete on reservation".

Calling the issue "complicated", health minister Rajendra Rathore, who headed ministerial panel, said that more discussion is needed.

The Gujjar delegation later left for Peelu Ka Pura village where protesters have laid siege to rail tracks, about 10 kms from Bayana, disrupting movement of several trains.
They also paid tribute to 16 people of the community killed in police firing on May 23, 2008 at Peelu Ka Pura during agitation. A large number of men, women and children turned out at the Samadhi Sthal and paid tributes to the deceased. Addressing the gathering, Bainsla said without reservation the obeisance to the "martyrs" was not complete.

The sit-in at Pilu Ka Pura area in Bharatpur district affected the movement of at least 50 trains, including those on the Delhi-Mumbai section.

The state roadways also cancelled some buses on the route where the Gujjars were holding their protest.

Among the key trains that were hit those going from Kota to Nizamuddin, Mandasor, Patna, Agra and several trains on the important New Delhi-Mumbai route.

The district administration has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in and around Bayana town as hundreds of Gujjars braved scorching heat with the mercury rising above 45 plus degree Celsius.

Additional police force have been deployed around Bayana town to maintain law and order, said Bharatpur inspector general of police Biju George Joseph who along district superintendent of police Rahul Prakash and collector Ravi Jain and other senior officers are camping in the town.

At least 72 people have been killed since 2007 when the Gujjars, who comprise 7% of the state's population, launched a protest demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
(With agency inputs)
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