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Jats ignore SC order, disrupt train services

Last updated on: March 24, 2011 13:43 IST

Jats ignore SC order, disrupt train services

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Jat agitators, demanding quota for the community in government jobs under Other Backward Class category, continued to wreak havoc on the rail traffic in northern India where a number of trains have been cancelled and some cut short of their destination.

The Jat body spearheading the agitation said they will not relent until their demand was met.

"There is no going back on our demand. The ball is in the government's court. Our demand is genuine and they should have no problem in accepting this," Hawa Singh Sangwan, Haryana State President of All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, the body spearheading the agitation, said.

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Image: File photo of members of the Jat community attending a rally in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters
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If the demand is not met soon, the community members will block prime roads in the state in the days ahead to press for their demand, he said.

The Centre had held a round of talks with them recently in a bid to put an end to the agitation which has been going on for three weeks now badly affecting normal life at many places.

Train services on 14 mainlines in Haryana, including Mumbai-Delhi-Rewari, Bhiwani-Delhi-Rohtak, Delhi-Ludhiana-Jind, Narwana-Kurukshetra, Rohtak-Panipat, Rewari-Loharu, Loharu-Jaipur, Hisar-Jaipur, Bhiwani-Hisar, Hisar-Bathinda, and Delhi-Jind-Ludhiana continued to remain disrupted for yet another day on Thursday.

With the disruption in the supply of coal, the Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Plant, Khedar, Hisar has been closed.


Image: A member of the Jat community listen to a speech during a protest in New Delhi

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At a meeting held at Kurukshetra recently, the agitating Jats had threatened to block the Delhi-Ambala rail route if their demand was not met by March 25. They also threatened to cut off the national capital from the rest of North India in the next phase of their stir if the demand was not fulfilled by March 28.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has directed the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to ensure supply of water and essential commodities to Delhi in the wake of the threats by Jats demanding quota in central jobs.

The apex court also directed the two state and the Rajasthan government to ensure that supply and transportation of petroleum products from Mathura and Panipat oil refineries to the national capital should not be affected in any manner.


Image: Members of the Jat community listen to a speech
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters
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The directions were given by a bench comprising justices Altamas Kabir and Dalveer Bhandari which held a hearing despite it being a holiday in the Supreme Court.

Two urgent petitions had been filed by the Delhi Jal Board and the Indian Oil Corporation in the wake of threats by Jats to block movement of essential commodities to Delhi.

Advocate Najmi Wajiri, standing counsel for Delhi government appeared for both DJB and IOC and apprised the court about the difficulties arising out of the agitation.

The bench, in its order, said, "The agitation should not interrupt the supply of water and essential commodities including milk and milk products. Essential commodities reaching Delhi either by road or railways should not be stopped. It is needless to say that the state governments shall take every necessary step in this regard."


Image: A member of the Jat community smokes hookah during a rally in New Delhi

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It said these directions to the states concerned will not prevent them from asking help from Central authorities to implement the order.

"We are also directing the respondent (Government of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan) that they will ensure that the oil refineries of Panipat and Mathura are not affected and the supply and transportation of petroleum products either through pipelines or road and railways is not affected," it said.

The bench further said it was passing the order despite the reported statements of the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh indicating support to the agitation.

"We are constrained to pass the order having regard to the statements made by the highest functionary of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh indicating support to the agitation," the bench said.

The bench said the copy of the order passed in the matter of Delhi Jal Board should be given immediately to the Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and the Haryana as well as the Resident Commissioners of the two states in Delhi. The copy of the order shall also be given to the standing counsel of the two states, it said.

The bench issued notices to the government of Haryana and UP and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.



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