Jaipur: The Rajasthan government on Wednesday told agitating Gujjars that it was committed to provide five percent reservation to the community under the special backward class category.
In a letter to Gujjar Aarkshan Sangarsh Samiti convener Col. (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsla, the government, however, said: “It will be difficult to provide 4 percent reservation from 21 percent reservation provided to other backward class as it will adversely affect social harmony.”
The letter was sent to Bainsla after three rounds of talks between a ministerial committee and a delegation of protesting Gujjars failed to make headway.
The letter said that as per a Supreme Court judgement, the state government can provide reservation in excess of 50 percent.
The Gujjars are demanding, among others, five percent reservation in state government jobs under the special backward class category and that too according to them in the maximum permissible limit of 50 percent reservation.
The agitating Gujjars have been squatting on railway tracks in Pilu Ka Pura near Bayana town since May 21. The agitation has affected the movement of trains, including that on Delhi-Mumbai sector.
The protest has also affected movement of vehicles on the Jaipur-Agra highway.
Sources close to Bainsla told IANS that he was likely to attend a meeting with the three-member ministerial panel on Thursday in Jaipur.
Earlier in the day, the Rajasthan High Court directed the state government to remove protesting Gujjars from railway tracks and clear blockades on roads.
Justice R.S. Rathore, while hearing a contempt petition filed against Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, asked police to get vacated the railway tracks and clear Jaipur-Agra national highway by Wednesday.
“It seems that law and order situation has derailed,” the court observed.
Besides, the court asked collectors of the five affected districts, Rajasthan’s chief secretary and director general of police and divisional railway manager to be present before it on Thursday.
Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria appealed to agitating Gujjars to vacate rail tracks and also to allow plying of vehicles on Jaipur-Agra highway.
“We will first try to make them understand the court order. If they do not vacate, then we will have to resort to different methods, including using police force, to remove them,” said Kataria.