The Rajasthan police on Sunday fired tear gas shells to prevent members of the Gujjar community--who have been protesting for their demand of five per cent quota in jobs and education-- from blocking a highway connecting Dholpur to Gwalior. The police, however, were unsuccessful in their attempt to stop the agitators from blocking the road.
The incident took place in Rajasthan's Dholpur as the Gujjar protest entered its third day. As the protesters moved to occupy National Highway 3, they had a run-in with the police, which baton-charged to stop them. The police later fired tear gas shells on them. Three police vehicles have been torched by the protesters, the police said.
The leader of the community, Kirori Singh Bainsla, started a sit-in protest on Friday along with his supporters on the railway tracks in Rajasthan's Sawai Madhopur district, demanding reservation for five communities including Gujjars.
He said the state government had promised five per cent reservation to the community in its election manifesto.
Vijay Bainsla, another Gujjar leader, said they have been waiting for talks with the government since last 20 days on their demand. He said agitators blocked Jaipur-Delhi, Jodhpur-Bhilwara, Ajmer-Bhilwara highway on Saturday.
The agitation comes nearly a month after 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections in the general category in jobs and education was cleared by parliament. The move was introduced as a constitutional amendment, passed in parliament and enacted in a matter of days.
Members of the Gujjar community blocked railway tracks on the second day of their agitation on Saturday.
Agitating Gujjars sat on railway tracks at Malarna Doongar near Sawai Madhopur, leading to the cancellation of 23 trains and the re-routing of 20.