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Rajasthan: Gujjars continue agitation, blockades

December 27, 2010 16:04 IST

Gujjar agitators continued the blockade of many rail and road routes in Rajasthan and jammed the Jaipur-Ajmer highway on Monday as their agitation over the issue of reservations in jobs entered the eighth day.

"Nearly 200 agitators have blocked the highway near Nasirabad road at Mangaliawas (in Ajmer district). Traffic has been affected but is being diverted to other routes," police sources said.

"Talks with local Gujjar leaders are going on to resolve the situation," they said.

Late on Sunday night, nearly a dozen youths torched a truck near Kotputli town on the Jaipur-Delhi highway and the fire brigade was called to control the situation, said the police. The flames were doused in time and no one was injured in the incident, they added.

The sources said blockade at the Dausa-Bharatpur highway, Karauli-Hindaun road, Mahaveerji-Karauli road,Karauli-Gangapur road, Mahua-Hindaun road, Gangapur city-Lalsot in Sawaimadhopur and Kotputli-Alwar road continues.

Rail tracks in Bharatpur, Dausa and Tonk districts have been blocked by hundreds of squatting agitators, they said. The protesters, who are demanding five per cent quota in jobs, are also planning to disturb rail routes in Sawaimadhopur and vehicular traffic at Rajsamand, Alwar, Baran, Nagaur, Sikar districts, and shut down in Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Dudu town in Jaipur and Jhalawar, the police said. Nearly one thousand Gujjars, led by their leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, are at Mahapadav site in Pilukapura in Bharaput district, they said.

The agitation, which is going on peacefully, is causing great inconvenience to passengers and financial loss to various industries in the state. Meanwhile, the Gujjar agitation has badly hit the transport industry and affected supply of goods in Rajasthan, with several thousand trucks stranded on the roads in different parts of the state for the last few days.

The Jaipur-Agra National Highway-11, a key route for the transporters, is blocked while the situation of other national highways is also not certain.

"The stir is causing a loss of nearly Rs 20 crore per day and has hiked rates of commodities by five to ten per cent. Bookings have been cancelled as most of the drivers are not ready to go through the stir-affected areas," said Vedbhushan, the president of Rajasthan Truck and Transport Operators Union.

"Nearly 1,000 trucks are stranded near Patoli in Dausa due to the blockade on NH-11. The goods are unsafe there and drivers have panicked as there is no security for them," he said.

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