As the Gujjar agitation entered its fourth consecutive day on Monday with demands for 5 per cent reservation, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said protesters should shun violence and voice their demands to the Centre.
He also said that the Congress government in the state is ready for a dialogue with the community but the final decision will have to be taken by the central government.
“The government is ready to help them, they need to voice out their demands to the Centre, and it is up to the Centre what decision they take,” said Ashok Gehlot.
“Trains have been cancelled or diverted, who is at loss? It is the country which is at a loss. What is the point in staging a protest? I would like to make an appeal, start a dialogue with the government, I can assure you we will do whatever we can,” said Gehlot.
Due to the ongoing Gujjar stir several trains were cancelled, while several others were diverted or short- terminated.
As per railway authorities, as many as 18 trains were cancelled in Kota division of the Central-West Railway on Sunday. However, between February 11 and 13, the railway authorities have already announced to cancel the movement of 37 trains, scheduled to pass through Kota division, in view of the ongoing quota stir.
Among the trains that were diverted on Monday are Mewar Express from Udaipur City to H Nizamuddin, Golden Temple ML from Amritsar Junction to Mumbai Central, train from Firozpur Cantt to Mumbai Central and others. While among the trains that were cancelled on Monday are Jaipur express from Okha to Jaipur and others.
The protestors blocked the Delhi-Kuchaman highway at Raipur Morh in Sikar district as they staged a sit-in on the road. Similarly, roads were blocked by the protesters in Bundi district also.
“If central government can give 10 percent reservation to poor upper caste in 10 days why can’t Rajasthan government give us 5 percent reservation? Unless it is given we will continue to block the road,” said a protester.
Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, on Monday, said: “We will leave only after getting 5 per cent reservation. It’s my personal request to the government, don’t do anything which can provoke people of Rajasthan, people are waiting for my instructions. Let’s sort it out in a peaceful manner. The earlier the better.”
On Sunday, the protesters turned violent as three police vehicles were torched in Dholpur district and around 10 shots were also fired.