AMID THE protests by the Gujjar community, a section of Jat and Muslim communities have renewed their demand for reservation under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
“If the government wants anarchy and only listens to agitations, then we will decide on a strategy through eight mahapanchayats in the district (Bharatpur), the first of which will be at Pathena village on November 18,” said Nem Singh Faujdar, convenor of the Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti. “We will not set any vehicle on fire, nor will we damage any property, but we will do a chakka jam that the government can’t even imagine,” he said.
The Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur districts were excluded from the Central OBC list following a Supreme Court order in March 2015, and then from the state OBC list following a High Court ruling in August that year. In 2017, the Vasundhara Raje-led government had extended reservation to Jats of these two districts under the state OBC list.
“Our first demand is that the state government should write to the Centre, recommending reservation for Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur. Second, our selected candidates should be given appointment immediately. Third, cases filed against members of the community during the agitation should be withdrawn,” Faujdar said.
The Muslim Minority Development Committee (MMDC) has demanded 10 per cent reservation for backward Muslim castes “along the lines of reservation for Gujjars”.
Keeping its cool
While the agitation by the Gujjars on the railway tracks has entered its ninth day, the Ashok Gehlot government appears to be patiently trying to avoid any confrontation and violence. The government’s representatives have continued to hold talks with leaders from the community even as the latter have been trying to up the ante.
MMDC General Secretary Yunus Ali Khan said, “Muslim OBCs fare worse than other OBC castes in education and social backwardness.” The MMDC has sought separate reservation for Muslim OBCs in education and services in the state “on Karnataka pattern”.
Meanwhile in Karauli, State Youth Affairs Minister Ashok Chandna and top officials from the district administration held another round of talks with Gujjar leaders led by Kirori Singh Bainsla and his son Vijay Bainsla on Monday. However, no agreement could be reached.
The key demands of the Gujjar protesters, who have been occupying the railway tracks in Bharatpur for nine days now, include filling up the backlog of vacancies, reservation in pending recruitment processes, rehabilitation of the families of those killed in violence while seeking reservation, execution of Devnarayan scheme and withdrawing cases against Gujjars. The government has been saying that most of the demands have been fulfilled.
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