Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday appealed to the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti patron Col. Kirori Singh Bainsla to end the quota stir, considering the inconvenience faced by lakhs of passengers due to the cancellation and route diversion of trains.
The protest launched by the Gujjar community demanding 5 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutes entered its fourth day on Monday. Gehlot asked the protesting community to place their demands before the Centre.
"We did our best for them during my last tenure as the Chief Minister. We spoke to them and introduced 1 per cent reservation for the Gujjar community. We also tried to give them 5 per cent reservation. However, the High Court cancelled the same. Now they can start discussions with the Centre for 5 per cent reservation as it requires constitutional amendments," Gehlot said.
The Chief Minister added that he will do whatever he can for the Gujjar community. "Col. Bainsla should come forward for opening a dialogue and we shall take the discussion forward," Gehlot said.
He also accused the BJP of inciting the Gujjar community and said, "The BJP plays politics on such issues. When we were in the opposition and the Gujjars were pressing for their demand for reservation, we never incited them."
Meanwhile, the members of the Gujjar community on Monday jammed the Agra National Highway near Sikandara, which impacted the road traffic on either side. They also continued to block the railway tracks in Malarna Dungar near Sawai Madhopur.
Section 144 has been imposed in Dholpur, Dausa, Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur and Karauli after violence being reported on Sunday. The protestors also pelted stones on police personnel, injuring six of them.
Many buses had to be stopped in the wake of the ongoing stir in Rajasthan. Several trains, including the Hapa-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Express, Amritsar-Bandra Terminal Express, Amritsar-Mumbai Central Express, Firozpur-Mumbai Central Express and Jammu Tawi Express, have been cancelled, confirmed railway officials.
Additional police forces have been called in from neighbouring states to keep the situation under control. A total of 17 companies of Rajasthan armed forces have been deputed in eight districts of the state. Security has been tightened in railway stations and tracks, confirmed police sources.
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