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Quota stir: Gujjar agitation begins on tepid note in Rajasthan as divide erupts among leaders

Hundreds of people from the community gathered in Bharatpur’s Pilupura village on the call of Samiti chief Col KS Bainsla, but there was little enthusiasm among the protestors on Sunday.

Published: 01st November 2020 07:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2020 08:50 PM   |  A+A-

Quote Stir, Gujjars

Gujjar community members block national highway amid quota agitation. (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: Amid fears that Gujjars may disrupt rail and road traffic in Rajasthan, the quota agitation by the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti began on a tepid note on November 1. 

Hundreds of people from the community gathered in Bharatpur’s Pilupura village on the call of Samiti chief Col KS Bainsla, but there was little enthusiasm among the protestors on Sunday.

With a large faction of Gujjars staying away, Col Bainsla’s dream of an intense agitation did not turn into what he wished for.

Although, some youngsters did block railway tracks in Pilupura, they were quickly advised to move away by their leaders and the local police. While the Delhi-Bombay rail route had to be diverted due to worries over the Gujjar agitation, the atmosphere in the area seemed quite calm and peaceful. 

Soon, Col Bainsla also struck a conciliatory note and said he was open to a dialogue with the Ashok Gehlot's Congress government in the state.

ALSO READ | Gujjar quota stir: Rajasthan govt imposes National Security Act in 8 districts

The Gujjar leader, however, insisted that a minister from the Rajasthan government should come and inform the agitators what steps were being taken to meet their demands. Ashok Chanana, the Sports Minister in the Gehlot government is likely to visit Peelupura and hold discussions with Col Bainsla and his group.

Much of the sting in the Col Bainsla-led agitation was done on Saturday night as a delegation of Gujjar community leaders met with representatives of Rajasthan government in Jaipur and reached a consensus after three rounds of talks spread over several hours. 

According to the reached understanding, leaders of the Gujjar community and the Rajasthan government agreed on 14 major points. 

As a result, families of three persons killed during the Gurjar agitation will be given Rs 5 lakh and government jobs. Secondly, Gujjar community will get 5 per cent reservation in recruitments which have been pending and 1,252 MBC candidates will soon get benefits from regularisation of pay scale.

ALSO READ | Gujjar community leader threatens agitation if demands not met by Centre, Rajasthan government

Given this division among leaders of the Gujjar community, the threat of obstruction to rail and road traffic by agitating Gujjars gradually fizzled out. While the faction led by Col Bainsla remained in Bharatpur and went ahead with their agitation on Sunday, the fear and tension in the air got dissolved.

For the moment, the Gehlot government has ensured that the agitation did not flare up and disruption to rail and road traffic was prevented in Rajasthan. 

In the past Gujjar agitations have often been violent and over 70 people died in Gujjar protests in previous regimes. 

'Angry' Gujjars have allegedly uprooted railway property, occupied rail tracks and disrupted traffic on major roads in Rajasthan in the past.

Given this history of Gujjar agitations in the state, the police and security vigil remains tight in eastern Rajasthan. 

Over 450 personnel of GRP and RPF have been deployed in Kota Rail Division and about 3000 security personnel have been deployed in Bayana. 

Also, the National Security Act remains in force in 8 districts of the state and the NSA will remain in effect in all eight Gurjar-dominated areas for three months.



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