The Gujjar community in Rajasthan late Wednesday called off their 17-day-old agitation for reservation in government jobs and said they had been assured five percent quota in government posts following several round of talks.”We have called off the agitation. We have reached an agreement with the state government,” said Roop Singh, spokesperson of the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti that has been spearheading the agitation for five percent reservation in government jobs since Dec 20.
“I am satisfied with what the state government has offered to the community,” Colonel (retired) K.S. Bainsla, convener of the Samiti, told reporters after signing the agreement.
Roop Singh gave details of the agreement and said: “The state government has assured us that it is committed to provide us five percent reservation.”
He said that one percent reservation to special backward classes would continue as it is and for the remaining four percent, the state government would file a review petition in the high court and if need be approach the Supreme Court.
He said that the government, as per the recent high court directive, has agreed to complete a survey to verify the backwardness of special backward classes within six months.
“We reached an agreement as per which the government will complete the quantifiable data collection within six months and keep four percent backlog of services,” said Singh.
Talks between a 36-member Gujjar delegation led by Bainsla and a three-member ministerial committee continued for over seven hours Wednesday before both parties reached an agreement.
From Dec 20 onwards, large groups of Gujjars had laid siege to rail tracks near Bayana in Bharatpur district — a community stronghold — and were blocking trains.
The Rajasthan government in 2009 announced five percent reservation for Gujjars and 14 percent for the economically backward classes, taking the total reservation in the state to 68 percent – more than the 50 percent cap set by the Supreme Court.
In a ruling Dec 22, 2010, the high court struck down the job quota for Gujjars.
Singh added that the government had agreed to sympathetically hear and decide on cases filed against agitating Gujjars within two months.
The government would also offer pension to people who have become disabled during the agitation and would also offer compensation to those seriously injured.
Besides this, an agreement was also reached on expanding medical facilities in Gujjar dominated areas, Singh said.
The Gujjars had staged violent protests between 2006 and 2008 as well in which many lives were lost.