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HT Correspondents HT Correspondents HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , January 26, 2011
The 11 day agitation in parts of Haryana appears to have finally come to an end following talks between chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and representatives of the Sarvjatiya Khap Mahapanchayat on Tuesday night. The two sides came to an agreement after a three hour long meeting between a 41 member committee constituted by the mahapanchayat and the CM at Kaithal. The Jat protesters, who were demanding a fresh probe into the killing of two Dalits in Mirchpur village last year and release of 98 persons booked in the case, had blocked rail tracks and roads in Jind and Hisar, virtually cutting off the two districts from rest of the state.

“The CM appealed to the committee members to maintain harmony and make efforts for peaceful coexistence with the people of all the communities. They responded positively and decided to withdraw their agitation with immediate effect,” public works department minister Randeep Singh Surjewala, who participated in the discussions, told HT after the meeting.

Bhag Singh Jalabh, president of the committee, also expressed complete satisfaction with the talks. “All the blockades will be removed with immediate effect except for the one on the railway track at Julani in Jind district which will be lifted by 10 am on Wednesday,” he said.

However, some confusion prevailed as a few committee members said that the final decision would be taken on Wednesday.

When contacted, Suresh Koth, convener and spokesperson of the mahapanchayat, said that the committee included parents of the youths who had been booked in the Mirchpur case. “They are satisfied with the discussions. We were here to seek justice for them and support them. The mahapanchayat will make the formal announcement before the people tomorrow,” he said.

Earlier, a state government team had entered into an agreement with the 11 member committee of the mahapanchayat but cracks surfaced among the protestors as they declined to endorse the agreement. Curiously, the state government and the committee members are totally tightlipped about the terms of the settlement and refused to give any information about the discussions in their marathon meeting at Kaithal.