Gujjars are back on railway tracks in Rajasthan holding protest demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. Traffic on Delhi-Mumbai railway route has been affected due to the protest which is being headed Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla.
Bainsla has asked protesting people not to damage any government property and urged them to maintain discipline during the agitation. Security has been tightened in the several parts of the state and several teams of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been kept on stand-by to tackle the situation.
As the dharna continued at Malarna Doongar - around 125 km southeast of Jaipur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to the people to maintain peace.
Train movement was affected due to the dharna, with seven trains being diverted in the Sawai Madhopur-Bayana section in Kota division, said Abhay Sharma, chief public relations officer of the North Western Railway.
Bainsla last month gave a 20-day 'ultimatum' to the state government to clear its stand on reservation to the communities in government jobs and educational institutes, failing which he threatened of reviving the quota agitation.
As the deadline lapsed Friday, Bainsla after holding a 'Maha Panchayat' at Malarna Dungar in Sawai Madhopur district, started the sit-in along with his supporters, blocking trains.
"Things are changing fast. I have not come here but the crowd has brought me on the railway tracks. People cannot be fooled all the time. It is a fight to do or die. State government should stand on its promise. It will be a peaceful protest. I will lead the protest and the youths will support," Bainsla told reporters.
As the protest started, high-level meetings were held in the state capital to find out ways to pacify the agitators.
The protestors are demanding five per cent separate reservation to Gujjars, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria for government jobs and admission in educational institutions.
Currently, these communities are getting one per cent separate reservation under the legal limit of 50 per cent under the most-backward category in addition to OBC reservation.
(With inputs from agencies)