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There has been no let up in violence as the angry Gurjar community, which is demanding to be re-categorised as Scheduled Tribes, continued their protests in Rajasthan. Two more people have died in police firing in Sawai Madhopur taking the total number of dead to 15.

The protests have reached Delhi's doorstep with the Jaipur-Agra, Jaipur-Kota and Dholpur highways remaining blocked on Thursday.

A group of protestors torched the Nadbai railway station in Bharatpur and burned vehicles in Patauli, Rajasthan, throwing normal life out of gear.

Despite military troops and Rapid Action Force being deployed, the Gurjar community is adamant that it will not listen to anyone unless they are given the ST status.

The major arteries connecting Rajasthan with the adjoining states were blocked with travelers like Hameeda, who could not attend her brother-in-law's funeral because she couldn't make it from Chandwaji to Kotputli, taken unawares.

“The funeral can't happen without me. I have to reach on time,” Hameeda said helplessly.

Violence touched the borders of Delhi where Gurjar protestors burnt tyres even as their leaders held closed door meetings. Now all eyes are set on the mahapanchayats, which will be held across states to decide the future course of action.

The socio-economic dynamics of the Gurjars is varied ranging from the poor in Rajasthan demanding the ST status to the rich and opulent around Delhi.

This economic divide is quite apparent within the OBCs but to prevent the further law and order collapse, perhaps the government needs to emphasise more on the sense of insecurity which has crept within the OBCs.

Shrusti Jain

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