Rail and road traffic has been disrupted Rajasthan’s Bharatpur after protests by the Gujjar community intensified on Monday. Over a dozen trains were diverted on the Delhi-Mumbai railway line as protesters blocked the tracks and bus services discontinued on the Agra-Jaipur route as a precaution.
The protests erupted on Sunday after a large number of Gujjars in the village of the district launched their agitation by blocking railway tracks and demanded reservation in education and jobs in the state.
As per reports, the protest turned violent after some agitators damaged the Mumbai-Delhi railway tracks passing through Peelupura and later uprooted the fish plate of the Mumbai-Delhi tracks while some blocked the Bayana-Hindaun route.
“We will continue our agitation till our demands are met and an order regarding it is issued by the government. We will not entertain anything less than that. Youth is unemployed, 25,000 jobs are stuck and nobody is talking about it,” Gujjar leader Vijay Bainsla told ANI.
The Western Railway said in a tweet – “Due to the Gujjar agitation, the train movement between Hindaun city (in Uttar Pradesh) and Bayana section (in Rajasthan) has been stopped.”
The community also demanded that the backlog be filled in the OBC reservation.
On October 2018, the Rajasthan government passed a bill that increased the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent. In December 2018, the state government approved one per cent reservation for Gujjars and four Other Backward Classes.
These communities are getting one per cent separate reservation under the legal limit of 50 per cent reservation meant for the most-backward category in addition to OBC reservation.
It may be mentioned that protests continue even as large gatherings remain banned under government-mandated Covid rules.