Bharatpur: Nine trains have been cancelled and 61 others, including two Rajdhanis from Delhi to Mumbai, have been diverted as nearly 1000 protesters sit on rail tracks in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district to demand reservation in the state for Gujjars.
An emergency meeting has been called by the Railways in the Kota division, with the protesters refusing to move from the tracks.
Apart from the Rajdhanis, some of the other trains affected included a Shatabdi from Kota to Delhi’s Nizamuddin, the Awadh Express from Gorakhpur to Bandra, the Janta Express from Bombay to Bhojpur and the Dehradun Express from Mumbai to Dehradun.
This evening, the Gujjar Reservation front of Rajasthan had called for a ‘mahapanchayat’ or big meeting in Samogar village of Bharatpur. They later trooped down to the rail tracks and sat there in protest.
Gujjars have been demanding reservation since 2007. They were given 5 per cent reservation in a separate quota, but as that exceeded the 50 per cent quota mandated by the Supreme Court, the matter is now caught in a legal tangle and is being heard in the Rajasthan High Court.
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje has said, “We are always open to discussion but this issue is now in court.”
The Gujjars have launched two violent agitations blocking railway tracks and roads in Rajasthan earlier, throwing law and order out of gear.