The Jat quota agitation in Rajasthan ended on Tuesday but not before violent protesters vandalised a railway station and set the engine of a goods train on fire in Bharatpur, with police having to fire tear-gas shells and carry out a lathi-charge to disperse them.
Jat leader Vishvendra Singh announced the end of the agitation, appealing to protesting community members to remove road blockades. Singh made the announcement at the office of the divisional commissioner in the presence of social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi who said the government had agreed to all the demands made by the community.
Jat leaders held talks with the minister, demanding a visit by the OBC commission to Bharatpur district before the assembly session beginning February 29 and the withdrawal of all police cases slapped on the protesters during the agitation.
Jats in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur and Dholpur districts are demanding inclusion in the OBC category as they were left out during the previous count because of their relative economic prosperity as opposed to their brethren in other parts of the state. They have demanded that the state government put forward their case strongly before the committee headed by Union minister Venkaiah Naidu.
At two places on national highway 11 (Jaipur-Agra), protesters clashed with police, pelting them with stones. Later, policemen led by district police chief Rahul Prakash fired tear-gas shells and some rounds of gunfire in the air to bring the situation under control.
At the Nadbai railway station, Jat protesters damaged signals and ransacked the station manager’s office. Reports of vandalism in Deeg, Kumher and Nadbai towns also emerged. Police said Jat protestors broke into commercial establishments and damaged some ATMs in these markets.
Reports Two companies of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary reached the strife-torn areas from Jaipur while two more had been dispatched, IG (Bharatpur range) Alok Vashistha said.
“There have been some preventive arrests in areas where violence broke out today but the numbers are not clear yet,” Vashistha added.
The protesters attacked the Helak railway station on the Jaipur-Agra rail route on Tuesday and set the engine of a stationary goods train on fire. GRP and RPF personnel overpowered them soon and cleared the area. The fire was doused. Soon, the protesters attacked the nearby railway station of Paprera and damaged government property, including booking windows and the station manager’s office, before being chased away by security personnel.