Reservation system needs relook, says Bainsla

Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, spearhading an agitation to press for ST status for his community, suggested it was time to exclude some castes which have already benefited from quota and include new ones that ‘deserve and require’ it.

Acknowledging that the quota space itself was getting increasingly crowded and keeping in mind the court ruling that reservation cannot exceed 49 per cent, Bainsla said that the ‘entire reservation system needs a relook’.

He said no review had so far taken place about the extent of benefit to castes enjoying the reservation.

Such an exercise should be undertaken to exclude castes which have benefited by it and bring in its purview those castes which ‘deserve and require’ quota, the Gujjar leader said.

“The best homage for the martyrs is that Gujjars get ST status. The Rajasthan government must send the correct recommendation to the Centre”, said Bainsla who has already rejected Rajasthan government’s suggestion for extending reservation to Gujjars under nomadic tribe status.

On the inconvenience caused by the Gujjars’ agitation, he said, “I regret the inconvenience. We had no other option but to stay here till the ST stats recommendation is sent.”

Asked where does the agitation go from here, Bainsla said, “we have paid the price. We have to stick to this place because we need this (ST status). We deserve this and we fulfill all parameters.”

Gujjar jams all over NCR

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters from the Gujjar community burned tyres and blocked roads leading to New Delhi on Thursday, bringing a battle for state jobs and college quotas in which dozens have died closer to the capital.

Huge traffic jams formed on major highways leading into New Delhi, as ethnic Gujjars, demanding access to state jobs and college quotas, shouted slogans and squatted on main roads on the borders of east and north Delhi.

Thirty seven people, including one policeman, have been killed in the protests.

The Gujjars, who threw stones at police and at places broke windshields of cars and buses, are fighting to be reclassified further down India‘s complex Hindu caste and status system to qualify for government jobs and university places reserved for such groups.

Police cleared most blockades after hours of scuffles. Some train services to towns outside Delhi, including several tourist destinations, remained suspended.

Demonstrations turned violent last week after protesters lynched a policeman and police fired on protesters, killing 36 of them in just a few days.

On Thursday morning, the stick-wielding Gujjar protesters turned away vehicles from the towns of Noida and Gurgaon, home to scores of outsourcing and computer software firms.

Many offices were closed. Some telecom firms such as BlackBerry closed their service centres in these suburbs.