Pilgrimage in Rajasthan affected by Gujjar agitation

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Dausa, Jan 5 (ANI): The ongoing protest by the Gujjar community has adversely affected the life of locals and devotees visiting the famous Mehandipur Balaji Temple in Rajasthan's Dausa district.

Tourism is the main bread earning source at temple, but the ongoing protest has affected the business of shopkeepers, owners of restaurants and guesthouses in the region.

"This agitation is slowly affecting our daily bread. Shopkeepers are able to earn hardly any amount may be just Rs.100, in which not even rent can be paid," said Pankaj, a shopkeeper.

Similarly, guesthouse owners are also feeling the heat of the row with cancellation of bookings and no schedules for coming weeks.

"Due to this Gujjar agitation our programme on December 31 was failed. Our all bookings from December 26 to January 05 were cancelled, just because of this Gujjar reservation row," said Rajeev Mittal.

Gujjars stepped up their agitation following a Rajasthan High Court order, which ruled that members of the community could not be given special reservation in government jobs.

The agitation, which began in 2007, has claimed over 70 lives so far.

A year ago, Gujjars in Rajasthan fought police and members of another caste that already qualified for job reservations.

After the protests, the State government said it would spend Rs 2.8 billion on improving schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure in Gujjar areas. But Gujjars rejected this option. (ANI)

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