Protesters demanding separate quota for Mali community block Jaipur-Agra NH

Bharatpur (Raj):┬áDemanding a separate 12-per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, members of the Mali community continued to block the Jaipur-Agra national highway in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Bharatpur district administration has suspended internet services for 24 hours in three tehsils to avoid rumours being spread.

“The protest is continuing. We have suspended internet services in Vair, Nadbai and Bhusavar tehsils for 24 hours,” Bharatpur Divisional Commissioner Sanwarmal Verma said.

Police said traffic has been diverted from Sevar crossing to avoid jam on the national highway.

On Friday, the protesters had pelted police with stones. The police retaliated by firing tear gas shells to control the mob.

The community comes under OBC and they are now demanding a separate 12-per cent reservation. They had already announced that they would block the highway on Friday.

In view of the agitation, the police had put up barricades on the road in Ballabhgarh, Halaina, Vair, Aronda, Ramaspur villages connected to the highway so that the agitators could not reach the key road.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also belongs to the Mali community.

Officials of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department had held a meeting in Jaipur on Friday in which talks with the representatives of the community were held.

According to an official statement, the representatives of Saini community demanded during the meeting a 12 per cent reservation, formation of separate Luv Kush Welfare Board, hostel facility for the children belonging to the community etc.

The officials informed that the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Welfare Board has been announced by the state government and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Day has been declared a state holiday on April 19.

The community had in June, 2022 held a similar protest, which was pacified after assurances.