Members of the Gujjar community on Monday blocked the rail route in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur as part of their agitation demanding reservation in jobs and education. More than a dozen trains have been diverted on the Delhi-Mumbai Railway line and the bus service on the Agra-Jaipur route has been put on halt as a precautionary measure.
The community members, who have been demanding reservation as a ‘most backward class’ (MBC) community, said their agitation will continue until their demands are met.
“We will continue our agitation until our demands are met and an order regarding the same is issued by the government. The youth from our community is unemployed, 25,000 jobs are stuck and nobody is talking about our problems,” Gujjar leader Vijay Bainsla was quoted as saying.
Seven trains were diverted due to a blocking of the railway line on the Hindaun City-Bayana route, the Western Railway said on Sunday night. The diverted trains include Hazrat Nizamuddin-Kota, Bandra Terminus-Muzaffarpur, Kota-Dehradun, Indore-Hazrat Nizamuddin, Hazrat Nizamuddin-Indore, Hazrat Nizamuddin-Udaipur and Udaipur-Hazrat Nizamuddin.
Listing the affected routes, the Western Railways in a tweet said, “Due to the Gujjar agitation, the train movement between Hindaun city (in Uttar Pradesh) and Bayana section (in Rajasthan) has been stopped.”
Some news reports claimed that mobile internet services have now been suspended in many districts. Earlier the home department had evoked the National Security Act (NSA) in Bharatpur, Dholpur, Sawai Madhopur, Dausa, Tonk, Bundi, Jhalawar and Karauli districts. In Jaipur division, the 2G/3G/4G data services, bulk SMS/MMS & social media through Internet (except voice calls & broadband Internet) have been suspended for 24 hours from 6 p.m. on Friday in Kotputli, Pawta, Shahpura, Viratnagar and Jamwa Ramgarh while Section 144 has been clamped in Dholpur.
The state government had called a Cabinet Committee meeting on October 29 to discuss the issue with the Gujjar leaders who, however, refused to take part. The government has fulfilled 3 major demands of the Gujjars, but the community leaders said it is not enough.
Bainsla, when asked if the Gujjars are split as one of the groups was approaching the state government, said, “If any group can help the community to attain what it is aiming for since the last many years, it is welcome. What we want is that the backlog of MBC reservation which counts to 35000 jobs should be cleared immediately.”
However, this time, we want it in writing and spirit or else we want the state government to make a public apology and say openly that “We are sorry for making a fake promise,” he added.
The government had on October 29 sanctioned financial aid of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the Gujjar leaders who lost their lives in past Gujjar agitations. In another concession, 1252 candidates belonging to the Most Backward Classes who completed their probation will be given regular pay scale by the state government on completion of the probationary period, said the officials.
It was also decided to write to the Centre to include the provision related to reservation for the Backward Classes in the Ninth Schedule.