On the fifth day of the Gujjar agitation, police today cleared the Jaipur-Agra national highway of the protestors even as the rail track continued to be blocked amid a stand-off with the government over the community’s demand for five per cent reservation. The stir suffered a setback in Dausa district where locals challenged the agitators and helped police in clearing the NH-11, which was blocked yesterday, police said.
However, the Delhi-Mumbai rail route and a state highway in Sawaimadhopur district continued to be blocked by hundreds of Gujjars who are squatting to press the demand for five per cent reservation for government jobs.
The Gujjars had yesterday threatened to intensify the agitation, which has mainly remained confined to Bharatpur and Dausa, and spread it across the state.
Meanwhile, there was a deadlock over the venue of next round of talks between Gujjars and the government after one round held in Bayana ended in a failure. The government had asked Gujjar representatives to come to Jaipur today to discuss the issue at length but their leader Kirori Singh Bainsla is adamant on holding the talks in Bayana only, which is nearly 15 kms away from Pilukapura where the community members have blocked the railway tracks.
“We will not go to Jaipur for the talks. We will hold talks in Bayana only. I have given a letter to the government for this,” Bainsla told PTI. The agitation, which was started on Thursday last week, would be called off only when the government fulfils the demand, he said.
“After discussion with our members, it was decided today to not go to Jaipur. We are open for the talks but we will not go to Jaipur, as proposed by the government, and any talk will take place in Bayana,” said Himmat Singh, spokesperson of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti.
District collector Ravi Jain said the Gujjars were being convinced to accept the government’s proposal to go to Jaipur. “Jaipur is the right place to hold talks in detail and we are trying to persuade the Gujjars,” he said.