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Rajasthan: Gujjar protestors clash with police, set vehicles afire in Dholpur

Eighteen trains of the Northern Railways were cancelled and 13 diverted due to protests in Kota division, while seven were cancelled in Sawai Madhopur.

Rajasthan: Gujjar protestors clash with police, set vehicles afire in Dholpur
Smoke billows from vehicles set ablaze by a mob in Dholpur, Rajasthan, on Sunday. | IANS

The protest by members of the Gujjar community in Rajasthan turned violent in Dholpur district on Sunday after agitators set ablaze three police vehicles and fired shots in the air, PTI reported.

Dholpur Superintendent of Police Ajay Singh said unidentified miscreants fired eight to 10 rounds in the air while the blockade on the Agra-Morena Highway was in place. The protestors set fire to three police vehicles, including two jeeps and a bus, and also threw stones at the police, who retaliated by firing tear gas shells to disperse the crowds. Four jawans were injured in the clashes, Singh added.

This was the third day of protests. Members of the Gujjar community have been asking the state government to implement the 5% reservation it had promised them and four other groups – Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria – in 2017. At present, the community has 1% reservation in education and government jobs. The Congress government in the state has appointed a panel of three cabinet ministers to negotiate with the community.

Gujjar leader Kirori Bainsla on Friday said the protest would be a peaceful one and the state government should stand by its promise. Last month, Bainsla had given the state 20 days to clarify its stand on reservation for the five groups.

However, a government delegation on Saturday was unable to reach an agreement with Bainsla and his supporters.

Train movement hampered

Eighteen trains of the Northern Railways were cancelled and 13 diverted on Sunday due to the protests in Kota division, ANI reported.

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Seven trains were cancelled, two partially cancelled and nine trains diverted in Sawai Madhopur district, PTI reported. The agitation has affected train movement in the North Western Railway and West Central Railway zones.

The Railways have cancelled more than 35 trains scheduled between February 11 and 13.

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