Why Gujjars in Rajasthan are on protest? All you need to know

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The turmoil in the Gujjar community, which demanded a five percent quota on jobs and educational institutes, turned violent in the Dholpur district on Sunday when shots were fired and three police vehicles burned down. Police said protesters threw stones and injured four people. The police had to throw tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. Here is an explainer about the increase in the quota:

Who are the gujjars?

It is a pastoral community. According to the caste census of 1931, the Gujjars constitute approximately 5% of the population of Rajasthan. They are present in around 21 districts. Traditionally, they have been supporters of BJP.

What is your demand?

They demand a 5% reserve in the category of special classes backwards (SBC). The community began its fight for the reserve in 2006 when it demanded its inclusion in the Reserve of Scheduled Tribe (ST). The Gujjars were covered by the OBC reserve since 1994. After the Chopra Committee report said that Gujjars could not be granted ST status, the community formed a 5% reserve under a new category of SBC. But because this led to the total reservation in the state beyond the 50% limit set by the Supreme Court, the superior court of Rajasthan annulled it.

Has any government given you a 5% SBC quota?

Yes. The BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje in 2008 presented a bill for 5% of the SBC reserve to Gujjars and four other communities (Banjara / Baldia / Labana, Gadia-Lohar / Gadalia, Raika / Rebari and Gadaria ). The HC kept the law on December 22, 2010 and asked the state to submit quantifiable data to support the reserve under SBC.

Subsequently, the government repealed the 2008 Law and introduced a new bill in the Assembly in September 2015, called the Draft Law of Special Prior Classes of Rajasthan (Reservation of Seats in State Educational Institutes and Appointments and Posts in Services under the State), 2015.

On October 16, 2015, a notice was issued in this regard. Rajasthan HC canceled on December 9, 2016 because 5% of the reservation exceeded the 50% limit of the education and employment fee.

The government of Rajasthan presented a bill in the Assembly in 2017 to increase the share of the other backward class (OBC) from 21% current to 26% to grant a 5% reserve to Gujjars and other castes. This, too, was hit by the superior court.