Gujjars` stir enters 3rd day; Situation under control: Govt
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 23, 2010, 00:13
  
Jaipur: Gujjars on Wednesday squatted on rail tracks and blocked roads at several places in Rajasthan on day three of their stir for five per cent reservation in jobs even as the state government asserted the law and order was firmly under control.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to Gujjars to call off their agitation and come to the negotiating table as the Centre despatched para-military forces to assist the state in handling the stir.

Gujjars, who received a setback earlier in the day when the Rajasthan High Court stayed the operation of an Act granting them five per cent reservation, staged sit-ins on tracks in Bharatpur district paralysing rail traffic.

They smashed window panes of some buses, put up road blocks and halted vehicles at Pipakeda near Dausa, Ghudhra in Ajmer and some other places, officials said.

Around 2,000 to 3,000 agitators were occupying rail tracks in Bharatpur, District Collector K Kunal said.

"There were incidents of road blockade near Ghudhra, at Pipalkeda and some other places," Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal told reporters here.

"However, the situation all over Rajasthan is under control," he said adding "road traffic is plying normally on Jaipur-Delhi, Jaipur-Agra, Jaipur-Ajmer and Jaipur-Kota highways."

On the High Court's verdict, Dhariwal said the state government was waiting for a copy of the judgement.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to Gujjars to call off their agitation in the interest of the people.

"We want to protect the interests of all including that of Gujjars and the matter can be resolved by holding talks," he said in a statement.

The Union Home Ministry despatched 1,500 personnnel of Central para-military forces to Rajasthan to assist the state government in dealing with the situation.

Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai also spoke to Rajasthan Chief Secretary Salauddin Ahmed and assured him all help in maintenance of law and order.

In a setback to Gujjars, the Rajasthan High Court today stayed the operation of an Act granting five per cent reservation to them.

It also directed them to undertake a data collection exercise to justify the quota for members of the community.

Disposing of a bunch of writ petitions challenging the 2008 Act, the Court also stayed the provision of one per cent reservation given to Gujjars in the ongoing recruitment drive in government jobs.

Reacting to Court's decision, Col (Retd) Kirori Singh Bainsla, spearheading the Gujjars' stir, asked his men to block highways and occupy rail tracks across the state.

He also threatened to stop supply of milk to Delhi.

"The government has cheated us by not presenting our case effectively in the Court," the Gujjar leader said.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, December 23, 2010, 00:13


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