Gujjar community staging dharna at various ports of Rajasthan over demands of 5 per cent reservation in government jons and educational institutions on Friday. Photo/ANI
Gujjar community staging dharna at various ports of Rajasthan over demands of 5 per cent reservation in government jons and educational institutions on Friday. Photo/ANI

Rajasthan: Gujjars demands 5% reservation, block tracks in Rajasthan

ANI | Updated: Feb 08, 2019 21:15 IST

Jaipur (Rajasthan), [India], Feb 8 (ANI): The Gujjars on Friday staged a 'rasta-roko' dharna at the railway tracks in Rajasthan's Swai Madhopur district, demanding implementation of the 5 per cent reservation that was promised to them by the state government.
The protest led by Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti  (GASS) also affected the train movement on the Delhi-Mumbai line.
One train was cancelled and four others were temporarily put on hold by the Railways. Also, the routes of 20 trains have been diverted.
Urging the Rajasthan government to act upon its promise Bainsla said, “We want 5 per cent reservation. The state government hasn't responded to our request. So, we have decided to do an agitation to seek the government's attention."
"In case, our demands are not met, we will begin rasta roko strike by this evening today, " he added. 
Last month on January 27, Bainsala asserted that if they were not given 5 per cent reservation in government jobs and academic institutions in next 11 days, they would be constrained to adopt the course of agitation.

As the "ultimatum" given by Bainsla ended on Friday, the Gujjar leader started the dharna with his supporters after holding a 'Maha Panchayat' at Malarna Dungar in Sawai Madhopur district.

"I didn't want to come here but people of my community have brought me on the railway tracks. We cannot be fooled every time. For us, it has now become a fight of do or die. If state government would have given us any response on its promise then there was no need of the protest. We will hold a peaceful protest," Bainsla said to media persons. 

Rajasthan government on October 26, 2018, passed a bill which increased Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent.

In December 2018, the Rajasthan government also approved one per cent reservation for Gujjars and four other backward castes (OBCs). At present, these communities are getting one per cent separate reservation under the legal limit of 50 per cent reservation meant for the most-backwards category in addition to OBC reservation.

The Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Bill will provide reservation to the five "most backward" OBC communities, including Gujjars and four other communities- Banjara,Baldiya, Labana; Gadiya Lohar, Gadoliya; Raika, Rebari, Debasi and Gadariya, Gadri, Gayari, which were earlier grouped as the special backward classes (SBC).

The government had tabled the Bill in assembly's monsoon session last year to provide reservation in educational institutions and state jobs for the category of more backward classes within the backward classes.

The Bill was tabled in the wake of widespread agitation by the Gujjar community demanding reservation under the backward classes category.

However, with this quota of five per cent to OBCs, the total percentage of various quotas has crossed 50 per cent. Now, the total quota in Rajasthan stands at 54 per cent- 26 per cent for OBCs, 16 per cent for SCs, and 12 per cent for STs. This is in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines, which say the total quota in government jobs and educational institutes for different reserved categories in the state cannot go beyond 50 per cent.

Last year, the Rajasthan High Court had struck down government's attempt to grant 5 per cent quota to Gujjars as it would have shot the overall reservation to 54 per cent. (ANI)