Members of the Gurjar community intensified their agitation seeking reservation in jobs and education in Rajasthan for the third straight day on Tuesday, disrupting both rail and road traffic, even as the state government said that its doors were open for talks with the agitating members.
Protesters associated with the Gurjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti — which began the movement for reservation in Bayana on Sunday saying the community comes under the Most Backward Class (MBC) — blocked the Delhi-Mumbai rail route, leading to several trains being diverted. The Kota rail division officials said 17 passenger trains and 25 goods trains were diverted.
On Monday, internet services were suspended across Bharatpur and Karauli district, and in nine tehsils of Jaipur districts.
Gurjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla said the agitation will continue until their demands are met. Speaking to news agency ANI, Bainsla said, “The government should accept our demands as early as possible.”
On Tuesday evening, senior IAS officer Niraj K Pavan reached Bayana to hold talks with Bainsla.
Vijay Bainsla, Kirori Singh Bainsla’s son, said they are ready to hold talks with any government authority. “However, the talks will take place only on the railway tracks and not in any room,” he said.
Meanwhile, additional director general of police (law and order) Saurabh Srivastava said additional forces have been deployed in Kota Rural, Tonk, Bundi and Jhalawar where members of the Gurjar community attempted to block roads. The state government had earlier authorised the collectors of eight districts in eastern Rajasthan to make preventive detentions under the National Security Act to maintain law and order.
Addressing the Rajasthan assembly on Monday, health minister Raghu Sharma said the Congress government had given 2,491 jobs to Gurjar candidates so far, while 1,356 posts had been reserved for them in the ongoing recruitment.
The state government had on October 26, 2018, passed a bill that increased the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota from 21% to 26%. In December 2018, it also approved 1% reservation for Gurjars and four OBC groups.