Gujjars` stir enters 3rd day; Situation under control: Govt

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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