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Jat stir ends, Gurgaon limps back to normalcy

Life returned to normal in Gurgaon on Monday after Jats in the district agreed to withdraw their agitation for reservation under the other backward caste (OBC) quota.

gurgaon Updated: Feb 23, 2016 01:32 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times
OBC reservation,road blockade,Rapid Action Force
Around 300 personnel of the police and RAF assembled at Rajiv Chowk and marched through the city on Monday.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Life returned to normalcy in Gurgaon on Monday after Jats in the district agreed to withdraw their agitation for reservation in government jobs and educational institutes under the other backward caste (OBC) quota.

For the past one week, Gurgaon and other places in the district had been under siege by Jat protesters who blocked roads and railway tracks. But the agitation in the district was withdrawn on Sunday after the Haryana government agreed to give reservation to the community.

On Monday, road blockades in Gurgaon were lifted and traffic moved smoothly at all major intersections. Train movement was also normalised. The police said there was no report of violence anywhere in the city.

The situation in Old Gurgaon, where the maximum impact of the agitation was seen, also normalised and traffic moved smoothly at major intersections such as Atul Kataria Chowk, Daulatabd flyover, New Railway Road and Bajghera Railway Crossing.

Residents in the city were seen coming out of houses to buy essential items. Officer goers, however, appeared apprehensive and preferred to stay home. Some corporate offices were closed while those that opened recorded thin attendance.

Government offices were closed on account of Guru Ravi Das Jayanti. Schools and colleges in Gurgaon also remained closed on Monday. On Sunday, the Gurgaon administration had advised educational institutions to remain closed as a matter of caution. They are expected to open on Tuesday.

To send out a message of normalcy, the Gurgaon police took out a flag march in Old and New Gurgaon on Monday morning.

A total of 30 vehicles of the police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) criss-crossed the city, with senior officials leading them.

Gurgaon police commissioner Navdip Singh Virk said the situation is expected to remain peaceful.

“The traffic and law and order situation in Gurgaon were normal on Monday. No road or rail blockade was reported. Rail services on the Delhi-Jaipur route have been restored. The Gurgaon police along with RAF personnel were on the streets and on the NH-8 all through the day. Special parties have been deployed along with duty magistrates for patrolling at night.”

“The Gurgaon police is committed to maintaining law and order in the district. We will continue to deploy personnel as long as it is required. Local leaders of all communities are cooperating with us,” he said.

Traffic movement on the crucial Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway also normalised, though the number of commuters using the road was visibly lesser on Monday.

Commuters using the stretch said they had a smoother travel on Monday as many offices in Gurgaon were closed fearing violence.

“There was not much traffic as most offices in Gurgaon were closed,” said Sumit Kumar, a commuter.

Business at malls, restaurants and pubs also suffered due to the agitation.

Shop owners said a lot of people from Delhi who come to Gurgaon on weekends stayed away.

Rajendra Sharma, who owns showrooms in MGF and Ambience malls, said the business was down by almost 30% during the agitation.

“We hope the city remains peaceful now and shoppers return,” he said.

“Our sale is the highest on weekends. But this weekend, not many buyers came. It was probably because of the Jat agitation. We are relieved that it has ended,” another shop owner said.

First Published: Feb 23, 2016 01:04 IST