Jats in Rajasthan back quota to Gujjars, oppose OBC classification

Gujjars are demanding five per cent reservation from with the OBC quota
A mahapanchayat of Gujjar(HT Photo)
A mahapanchayat of Gujjar(HT Photo)
Updated on May 15, 2018 10:45 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Jaipur | ByHT Correspondent

Jat leaders threatened to launch a stir if the Rajasthan government classifies the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to offer 5% quota to the Gujjars, though they supported reservation for the community.

“We demand that the government provide quota to the Gujjar community. They have been demanding 5% quota in the Special Backward Classes category for the last 10 years, as the BJP-led state government had committed it in the party manifesto along with 14% quota for unreserved classes,” Bharatpur-Dholpur Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti convenor Nem Singh told reporters here on Tuesday.

“The government should provide 5% quota to Gujjars and 14% quota to unreserved classes. Jats will be forced to launch an agitation with other castes under the OBC category if the government decides for classification of OBCs to offer 5% quota to Gujjars.”

Singh said the government was trying to break brotherhood among communities over the reservation issue. “Earlier it had tried to pit Meenas against Gujjar schedule castes over quota; now it’s making a strategy to make Jats and Gujjars fight, but communities’ brotherhood and unity will not be broken by the government.”

Former royal Vishvendra Singh had backed Gujjars during their quota agitation in 2007-08 at Peelupura and proposed to make his wife resign the post of Rajasthan State Selection Board chairperson.

“72 people were killed and more than 100 injured during the agitation but BJP and Congress governments failed to fulfil quota demands,” Singh said.

Five police companies have been deployed in Bayana to maintain order during the Gujjars’ panchayat, and three Railway Protection Force companies tasked with securing tracks.

Inspector general of police, Bharatpur range, Alok Vashistha, superintendent of police Anil Kumar Tank, district collector Sandesh Nayak took a meeting of local officials late on Monday evening in Bayana.

The Gujjars have been demanding reservation under the ‘special backward classes’ (SBC) category which, according to them, should be within the 50% overall quota approved by the Supreme Court.

The government has already issued 1% quota under the SBC category to the Gujjars, but they are demanding 4% more.

The high court had quashed the SBC quota to Gujjars and five other castes on December 9, 2016. Later, the state government constituted a high-power committee for a new survey, and then offered 1% reservation.

Gujjar leaders had said the agitation was called off on May 28, 2015, at Peelupura after a compromise with the government.

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