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Rediff.com  » News » Jats end 23-day agitation; road, rail traffic resumes

Jats end 23-day agitation; road, rail traffic resumes

March 12, 2012 19:57 IST
Jat protesters who are demanding reservation in government jobs under the Other Backward Class quota on Monday ended their 23-day-long agitation following an assurance from Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

After marathon talks, Khap (caste council) leaders and members of the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, which is spearheading the stir, jointly announced "suspension" of the agitation till September 13 and agreed to cremate the body of the youth who was killed in clashes between protesters and security forces on March 6.

"Since Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has given assurance to Sarv-Khap leaders regarding the community's OBC status demand, we have decided to suspend the stir," Mahendar Singh Punia, state general secretary of the Samiti, told the media.

The standoff between the government and agitators had shown signs of ending on Sunday following the release of more than 100 protesters, who were arrested on charges of arson and rioting during the agitation.

The protesters had refused to cremate the body of Sandeep and had placed it near the rail tracks till all those arrested had been released.

As the body was taken to village Mayyar, where Sandeep's younger brother lit the pyre, blockades were lifted from all roads including Hisar-Delhi National Highway.

Railway tracks were also cleared by the protesters bringing to an end the over three-week long stir which had caused inconvenience to the commuters in the district, 155 km from the nation capital.

In the next six months, Haryana's Backward Classes Commission is expected to submit its report to the state government, which is why the Jats have given the government September 13 as the deadline, a Jat leader said.

Earlier in the day, Dharampal Chhot, state president of the Samiti, had faced some opposition from protesters when he announced suspension of the stir.

During the course of the agitation, several rounds of talks were held among the representatives of the state government, the Samiti and Khap leaders.

The agitation took a violent turn with the death of Sandeep as protesters torched a police post and a judge's car and stormed the premises of Power Grid Corporation, prompting authorities to seek the army's help and close all educational institutions for several days in the district.

The protesters had blocked all roads and rail links to Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan.

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