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Court rejects 5 percent job quota for Gujjars in Rajasthan

Wednesday December 22, 2010 04:59:01 PM, IANS

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Jaipur: In a major jolt for agitating Gujjars, the Rajasthan High Court Wednesday rejected a petition seeking five percent reservation in government jobs for the community.

The division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati held that Gujjars could not be given special reservation.

The court said that the government failed to justify the basis on which the community should be provided such special reservation.

The judges said that the government could continue to provide one percent reservation for Gujjars in government jobs. It was given under special backward class category.

The court, while hearing a petition of G. Sharma, also asked the government to carry out within a year an exercise to collect details on the economic status of Gujjars and other communities, including Raikas, Raibari and Gadiya Lohars.

Reacting to the court decision, Colonel (Redt) K.S. Bainsla, convener of Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (GASS), said that the community would intensify its stir launched Monday.

"The government has failed to present our case in a proper manner in the court. We want 5 percent reservation. We are not concerned what court has to say. Our demand was never from the court but it was from the government. We will only end our agitation after the government provides us reservation," Bainsla told IANS on phone.

Bainsla asked the members of the community to stop supply of milk to Delhi. "We have been forced to intensify our stir, we would not supply milk to Delhi and start blocking major national highways," he said.

Train services between Delhi and Mumbai were again hit Wednesday as agitating Gujjars blockaded a railway track near Bayana, about 150 km from here, in Bharatpur district.

Over 15,000 Gujjars began their agitation Monday. They held demonstrations in Bhilwara, Ajmer and other parts of the state.

The agitators have also blocked the Bayana-Hindon and Hindon-Bharatpur roads, forcing the government to cancel some of its bus services on these routes.

Gujjars under the leadership of Bainsla, after holding a Mahapanchayat in Bayana Monday, decided on the rail blockade.

Following the decision, hundreds of protesters squatted on the railway track in Piloo Ka Pura, forcing the railways to divert and cancel a few trains.

The government has warned that strong action would be taken against people who damage government property.

In July 2009, the government announced five percent reservation for Gujjars and 14 percent for economically backward classes taking the total reservations in the state for various sections of society to 68 percent.

The high court in October 2009 stayed the quota in jobs and educational institutions in the state for Gujjars and economically backward classes as the reservation ceiling had exceeded the cap of 50 percent as laid down by the Supreme Court.

Gujjars of Rajasthan, demanding reservation for better educational and job prospects earlier between 2006 and 2008, staged violent protests in which many lives were lost.






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