Visakhapatnam: After violence rocked East Godavari district Tuni town, by kapus protesters demanding reservation, additional police and paramilitary forces rushed to coastal Andra Pradesh on Monday.
Police imposed prohibitory orders banning assembly of four or more persons across East Godavari district and beefed up security to prevent any untoward incident.
Senior police officials including additional director general of police (law and order) R P Thakur have reached Tuni to review the situation.
Police began investigations into Sunday’s violence in which a train, two police stations and 25 vehicles were torched. Fifteen policemen and four railway employees were injured in the violence.
The investigating officials were screening video footage to identify miscreants who torched train and police stations. The arrests are likely to be made later in the day.
Personnel of Andhra Pradesh Special Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Rapid Action Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been deployed in Tuni and other places in the district.
Kumar Viswajeet, the inspector general of police, north coastal Andhra, told reporters in Tuni that forces were deployed in all places and that they were ready to deal with any situation.
More than 3,500 security personnel were deployed in Tuni and other sensitive places in the district.
Security has also been tightened in Vijayawada with the deployment of special forces to prevent any violence.
Rail and road traffic between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada restored late Sunday night after M Padmanabhan, a key Kapu leader, announced the withdrawal of agitation.
He, however, threatened to go on ‘fast-unto-death’ if the government failed to respond by Monday evening on the demand for including Kapus in the list of backward castes.
Several trains were cancelled or diverted since Sunday afternoon when protestors torched Ratnachal Express near Tuni station. All 24 bogies were gutted in the incident. Railway officials estimate the loss to be Rs.30 crore.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation with Director General of Police J V Ramudu and other top officials.
Terming the violence as ‘pre-planned’, Naidu asked officials to deal firmly with those involved.(IANS)
November 12, 2016: The word ‘reservation’ came up with the idea of representative government, where for the first time numbers mattered. The inequality of Indian society has solidified the need for numeric representation. The caste based representation, no doubt created a more confident lower class mass with their greater involvement in the public sphere. Reservation in education has evolved as a major challenge for lakhs of students. Far from providing an equal opportunity it has an electoral agenda. Education has been politicized based on reservation.
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However, the backward class proportion is still underrepresented. Article 15 (1) of the Constitution says, “State shall not discriminate any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them”, it also provides for compensatory or protective discrimination in favor of certain sections of the disadvantaged people. Article 15(4) of the constitution stipulates that notwithstanding the provision stated above, the state can make “special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes”. Thus constitution itself provides contradictory clause.
The idea of ‘reservation’ has generated contradictory views from teachers and students all around the world. ‘Caste should no longer be the eligibility criteria for reservation, rather income should be’ said HemangoAkshayHiwale, an M.phill aspirant in Jamia Millia Islamia University. Prakash, another student of same university claims reservation as a ‘good thing but in present scenario in India need to be reformed.’
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In August 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that for admissions at super-specialty level in medicine and engineering faculties, no special provisions like SCs, STs, BCs were permissible. Even among the quotas there are also sub-quotas. For example, in Andhra Pradesh, 15% of the seats in each course of study reserved for Scheduled Castes are in turn allotted, in proportion to their population, to four categories of SCs classified as A, B , C and D.
This affirmative step has so far brought with it social justice. US Carnegie Mellon University, published a study in American Economic Review, which shows that reservations do place those who do not qualify for affirmative action at a disadvantage, 53,374 scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, other backward classes and general category students are at a loss.
Reservation in the past decades has increased the numbers of scheduled castes and scheduled tribe families with highly educated members, who can encourage and provide support for younger family members to continue their education. Thus, reservation in education as of now is more of a luxury scheme for these classes as the benefit is only confined to a limited population, whether they need it or not. The real needy ones are at a loss to whom the information or the financial access is debarred.
Instead of favoring reservation, the government should increase the number of universities and government jobs for the benefit of its people. Nationalization of education can also be a solution to this issue. When the discrepancies within the universities are omitted; i.e. equal access to education without compromising the quality of education the disadvantaged students in remote areas will get justice. The proliferation of universities in villages with good teachers can also be an alternative.
Reservation should not be treated as a vote bank or an emotional quotient but a practical measure to help the lower section of the society. It should be kept in mind that the extended favor to the marginalized section might create an insufficiency for the other classes. With the critical Indian class structure, it should be kept in mind that any reform of upliftment will be judiciously measured before its implementation.
Crisis in Iraq continues. Anti-government protests in Baghdad exploded into violence Friday afternoon as thousands of demonstrators defied heavily armed guards and concrete barriers and charged into the International Zone.
Security forces unloaded heavy machine-gun fire, stun grenades and tear gas as the crowds surged forward. But even as some protesters were forced back, others began to arrive, charging their way toward the fight.
“We will kill Abadi!” some shouted as they ran toward the zone. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has come to symbolize the face of Iraq’s failing government.
Some of the protesters broke the security cordon and ran to Abadi’s offices, determined to find him. He reportedly was not there.
As the gunfire continued, dozens of ambulances with sirens blaring raced across the bridge connecting eastern Baghdad toward the entrance of the International Zone to pick up the wounded. It was not clear whether the gunfire was being directed at the protesters or above their heads, or how many wounded there were.
The protests were the culmination of weeks of mounting anger against government corruption and inefficiency, which peaked this week when a series of bombs and suicide bombers exploded in the largely poor Shi’ite area of Baghdad known as Sadr City.
By dusk, most of the gunfire had ended and smoke was blowing across the skyline of the International Zone, also called the Green Zone. But protesters vowed to return, with their own guns.
Many of the protesters were followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shi’ite cleric who has emerged as the leader of the Iraq’s struggling poor and has an almost cultlike following among those frustrated with a government and parliament seen as deeply corrupt and ineffective.
“I will do anything Muqtada asks me to do,” said Mahdi, a commander inside al-Sadr’s so called Peace Brigades.
His nephew Rabah, a policeman in Sadr City, agreed. “We are not afraid of anything because we are with Muqtada al-Sadr,” he said.
“If the government does nothing for us, we will do something,” Rabah added just before the protests erupted. “We want the government to fix the situation inside the parliament and inside Iraq.”
Members of parliament have been struggling to even gather a quorum after al-Sadr and his followers shocked Baghdad three weeks ago by entering the International Zone, storming the parliament and chasing out the lawmakers.
The cleric has demanded that Abadi end a political quota system that guarantees political parties ministerial positions and replace the current government with technocrats.
Interim step fails
Abadi attempted an interim measure by replacing six ministers. It was not enough. The parliament and the political parties could not agree, and the resultant squabbling devolved into a fight for power. The issue has been referred to the Iraqi federal court.
Many protesters have lost all trust in the lawmakers and the government.
“The political fighting here is creating huge problems and is the result of political infighting for personal gain, not out of concern for Iraq,” said Nabil Nouraddin, a human rights activist. “Politicians are not protecting their people. They are just out for themselves.”
But al-Sadr’s militiamen are not the only ones in Baghdad’s streets.
The Badr corps, one of the strongest militias in the umbrella group of Shi’ite armed militias known as Hashd al-Shaabi, has rejected al-Sadr’s attempts to force change and has flexed its muscle in response.
Badr corps members now protect their own neighborhoods and reject al-Sadr’s push.
“We need to follow the political process, the laws. Any emergency government or any government other than the current government, in our opinion, would be a disaster,” Hashd al-Shaabi spokesman and former Badr brigade leader Kareem Nouri told VOA.
Nouri also rejected the suggestion from some political corners — including from some Sunnis who feel they have lost all power under the Shi’ite-dominated political and security structure — for an emergency transitional government.
Some Iraq analysts see the political struggles as normal growing pains in a country new to democratic processes. But the presence of armed militias loyal to different leaders has turned that process into a tense and highly volatile situation.
Without the militias, “it would be more peaceful, more political and solved much easier, and everybody would be more ready to make concessions,” said Baghdad businessman Husam Gazalee.
The gunfire and surge of protesters raised concerns about the thousands of diplomats and international officials in the Green Zone.
Colonel Steve Warren, an American military spokesman based in Baghdad, said, “We’re fine. Same as last time. They don’t appear interested in us.”
Warren, whose words were relayed to Pentagon reporters from the Baghdad embassy, referred to the large demonstration three weeks ago.
Another U.S. military official said there had been no change to the security posture at the embassy. (VOA)
Haryana: The Haryana Cabinet on Tuesday unanimously passed the Jat Reservation Bill in the Vidhan Sabha. The bill proposes to include Jats and five other castes in backward classes by bifurcation. On Monday, the Haryana Cabinet gave its nod to a bill providing reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to Jats and four other castes. The move came a day after protesters threatened to resume their agitation if their demands were not met by March 31, the last day of the Vidhan Sabha’s Budget Session.
The draft reservation bill proposed six per cent reservation for Jats and four other castes in Class-I and II government jobs, and 10 per cent reservation for the five castes in educational institutions and Class III and IV government jobs.
The Jats had given an ultimatum till April 3 to the state government to meet their demand of reservation. A meeting of Jats from 13 states is likely to be held in New Delhi on April 3 to discuss the reservation issue and further course of action. At least 30 people lost their lives and over 320 were injured, besides private and government property suffered losses to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees, during the Jat agitation and subsequent violence in February.