Gujjar protesters continued their sit-in on the rail tracks in Rajasthan's Sawai Madhopur district for the second day on Saturday, refusing to back off from their quota demand even after a government delegation met them there.
The blockade by Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti chief Kirori Singh Bainsla and his supporters has forced the West Central Railway (CWR) to divert, cancel or partially terminate nearly 200 trains in the last two days.
"We will continue the dharna on the rail tracks. No compromise was made with the government delegation. We want a 5 per cent reservation order," said Bainsla.
He said the government had promised 5 per cent reservation to the Gujjars, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria communities in government jobs and educational institutions in its election manifesto. Bainsla said the government should give the same now, so that the protesters could "return home gracefully".
Earlier, the tourism minister had asked Bainsla and his supporters to hold talks with a delegation on Sunday, saying the issue cannot be resolved on the rail tracks.
"The government is committed to resolving the issues. I am asking you to move from the track. I am requesting you to hold talks with a delegation tomorrow as the process cannot be done in a crowd and on the rail tracks," Singh said.
Vijay Bainsla, another Gujjar leader, said agitators had also blocked Jaipur-Delhi, Jodhpur-Bhilwara, Ajmer-Bhilwara highways on Saturday.
Train movement continued to be affected due to the blockade on Sawai Madhopur-Bayana railway section in Kota division.
Nearly 200 passenger/mail express trains running in the West Central Railway (CWR) zone were either diverted, cancelled or partially terminated in the last two days due to the agitation, CWR Spokesperson Vijay Prakash said.
NWR Chief Public Relations Officer Abhay Sharma said Hazrat Nizamuddin-Ahmedabad, Hazrat Nizamuddin-Udaipur and Udaipur-Hazrat Nizamuddin trains were cancelled, whereas Firozpur Cantt-Mumbai train was diverted on Saturday.
DGP (law and order) M L Lather said no untoward incident was reported due to the agitation. "Our teams are alert and the deadlock may soon be over," he said.
Currently, the five communities are getting one-per cent separate reservation under the most-backward category in addition to the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)