Rail and road traffic has been disrupted as protests continue by members of the Gujjar community in Rajasthan's Bharatpur. More than a dozen trains have been diverted on the Delhi-Mumbai Railway line and the state has temporarily discontinued its bus service on the Agra-Jaipur route as a precaution.
Some members of the Gujjar community have occupied railway tracks in Bharatpur, about 180 km from state capital Jaipur; they're protesting to seek reservation in jobs and education, officials said.
"We will continue our agitation till our demands are met and an order regarding it is issued by the government. We will not entertain anything less than that. Youth is unemployed, 25,000 jobs are stuck and nobody is talking about it," Gujjar leader Vijay Bainsla said on Sunday.
"Due to the Gujjar agitation, the train movement between Hindaun city (in Uttar Pradesh) and Bayana section (in Rajasthan) has been stopped," the Western Railways said in a statement this morning in a tweet, with a list of the affected routes.
The Gujjar community - protesting for reservation since 2007 - is said to be divided into two factions - the Gujjar Reservation Committee led by Himmat Singh Gurjar and the other group led by Vijay Bainsla. The group led by Himmat Singh Gujjar on Saturday agreed with the Rajasthan government's cabinet sub-committee on 14 points following talks held over seven hours.
However, the other group is still continuing with the protests.
The community has also been demanding for the backlog to be filled in the OBC reservation.
At least thrice in the past, they've been given 5 per cent reservations in a special category. However, since it crossed the the 50 per cent limit set by the Supreme Court, the high court has struck it down thrice.
The Rajasthan government on October 26, 2018, passed a bill that increased the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent. In December 2018, the state government approved one per cent reservation for Gujjars and four Other Backward Classes. These communities are getting one per cent separate reservation under the legal limit of 50 per cent reservation meant for the most-backward category in addition to OBC reservation.
Protests continue even as large gatherings remain banned under government-mandated Covid rules.