Gujjar agitation: Trains diverted, NH-11 blocked; Bainsla says ‘don’t provoke us’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujjar-quota-agitation-kirori-bainsla-trains-diverted-highway-blocked-5578461/

Gujjar agitation: Trains diverted, NH-11 blocked; Bainsla says ‘don’t provoke us’

Gujjar quota agitation: Since the agitation began on Friday, it has affected the movement of more than 250 trains.

Ajmer: Gujjar community members block national highway 58 in support of their demand for reservation in Ajmer, Sunday, Feb 10, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Due to the ongoing Gujjar quota agitation in Rajasthan, at least four trains have been diverted and one has been cancelled even as the protests enter its fourth day on Monday. Since the agitation began on Friday, it has affected the movement of more than 250 trains. Earlier in the day, Gujjar community members blocked National Highway-11, which connects Jaipur with Agra, in Rajasthan’s Dausa district. They are demanding 5 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

Shot fired, police vehicles torched on Sunday

The protests had turned violent yesterday when shots were fired and police vehicles were torched in Dholpur district, forcing authorities to impose prohibitory orders under CrPc section 144 in Dholpur and Karauli districts. It still remains in force in the areas.

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Three police vehicles were set ablaze in Dholpur. (Express)

The agitation spread to various districts, including Dholpur, Bundi, Karauli, and Jhunjhunu, among others.

Protesters had blocked the road and clashed with police in Dholpur. According to police, some also allegedly fired nearly a dozen rounds in the air. The mob, numbering a few hundred, pelted stones and also set three police vehicles, including a bus, on fire. However, there were no reports of any injuries

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Also Read : Rajasthan: Gurjar protesters clash with police, three vehicles set on fire

Life comes to standstill as Jaipur-Agra national highways blocked

A scene from the Gurjar agitation in Rajasthan. To kill time, protesters who are demanding 5 per cent reservation, play cards under a makeshift tent over railway tracks in Sawai Madhopur district. Train services on the route affected since the past four days. (Source: Deep Mukherjee)

The Gujjar agitation has severely affected traffic movement on National Highway 11 at Sikandara in Dausa as vehicles headed towards the blockaded area had to be diverted to alternate routes. DGP Law and Order M L Lathar told PTI, “NH-11 was blocked at Sikandara in Dausa. A state highway was blocked in Bundi district’s Nainwa on Sunday and Malarna road in Sawai Madhopur and Karauli-Hindaun road at Budla village in Karauli have also been blocked.”

Dausa SP Prahlad Singh said vehicles heading towards the blockade area on the national highway were diverted to alternate routes. “The traffic is being diverted and things are under control. The blockade is peaceful,” the SP told PTI. Efforts were being made to clear the blockade.

Currently, one national highway, one state highway and two arterial roads and Delhi-Mumbai railway tracks are blocked in Rajasthan, leading to cancellation and diversion of several trains.

Four trains diverted today due to Gujjar agitation

In a bulletin released by the North Western Railway, four trains had to be diverted today. The trains are: Hazrat Nizamuddin-Udaipur (12963), Amritsar-Mumbai Central (12904), Firozpur-Mumbai Central (19024) and Dehradun-Kochiveli (22660).

Gujjar leader threatens: “Sort it out peacefully, don’t provoke us’

Gujjar agitation leader Kirori Bainsla urged the government to peacefully resolve the matter. (Source: ANI)

Gujjar agitation leader Kiro Singh Bainsla Monday tod ANI that they will leave only after getting 5 per cent reservation. “It’s my personal request to govt, don’t do anything which can provoke people of Rajasthan, people are waiting for my instructions. let’s sort it out in a peaceful manner. The earlier the better,” he was quoted by ANI.

Also Read: Gujjar leader Bainsla starts dharna on rail tracks in Rajasthan for quota

Bainsla and his supporters began their sit-in on railway tracks in Malarna Dungar of Swai Madhopur on Friday. He is demanding 5 per cent quota for Gujjar, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria communities in jobs and education and has refused to clear the railway tracks.

Sawai Madhopur: Members of the Gujjar community hold a dharna demanding reservation, in Sawai Madhopur, Saturday, Feb 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Bainsla’s son Vijay Singh reiterated they won’t move from tracks if quota announcement isn’t made by government. “We will not move from the tracks if the announcement is not made. There is only one demand and that is 5 per cent reservation,” Vijay told PTI.

Last Friday, Bainsla had told reporters that ‘it’s a fight to do or die’ as he urged the government to stand up to its promise. “Things are changing fast. I have not come here but the crowd has brought me on the railway tracks. People cannot be fooled all the time. It is a fight to do or die. State government should stand on its promise. It will be a peaceful protest. I will lead the protest and the youths will support.”

State govt delegation met protesters but no decision was taken

A state government delegation, including Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh and IAS officer Neeraj K Pawan, held talks with the protesters on Saturday but they refused to end their agitation until their demand is met through an official announcement.

From the government side, IAS officer Niraj K Pawan, currently posted as Registrar, Cooperative Department, was sent to hold talks. The government had also constituted a committee of three ministers to mediate with the agitators. The government representatives had invited Bainsla and others for talks in Jaipur or elsewhere, away from the tracks, but the agitators have so far refused.