Rajasthan govt ready for talks with Jat quota protesters, says official
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Rajasthan govt ready for talks with Jat quota protesters, says official

Jats in Bharatpur and Dholpur have been demanding reservation since August 2015 but the demand has not been fulfilled yet.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2017 17:04 IST
Suresh Foujdar
Suresh Foujdar
Hindustan Times, Bharatpur
Jat,Rajasthan,Jat quota
Members of the Jat community protest for more rights which will entitle them to government jobs and educational benefits. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Rajasthan government has agreed to talk to the members of the Jat community who are leading a protest in Bharatpur demanding benefits of reservation under OBC category, a senior official said Friday.

District collector of Bharatpur, Narendra Kumar Gupta said social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi along with senior officials are likely to meet the agitators late in the evening. “They will also hand over to the protesters a letter assuring the Jat community of being granted reservation under the OBC category,” Gupta said.

This comes after erstwhile royal family member and Congress MLA Vishvendra Singh, who is leading the agitation, said they will not lift the protests until government sets a timeline for implementing the Jat quota.

“We don’t want assurances. They have proven to be hollow in the past. If government is really willing to provide reservation to Jats in OBC, it should come to Bharatpur and give people in writing when it will be implemented,” Singh said, adding Jats in Bharatpur and Dholpur have been demanding reservation since August 2015 but the demand has not been fulfilled yet.

Convener of Bharatpur-Dholpur Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, Nem Singh, leading the blockade of railway track at Bahaj, echoed the MLA. “Government should set a timeline for issuing notification on the quota. Only then will we hold discussions with panch patels on lifting the blockade,” he said.

Inspector general of police,Bharatpur range, Alok Vashistha said district collector and divisional commissioner of Bharatpur along with officials from Jaipur will hand over the letter to the Jat leaders.

The OBC commission had on Thursday submitted its report to chief minister Vasundhara Raje. Chaturvedi had said that government was positive about providing reservation to Jats in Bharatpur and Dholpur and urged the community members to call off the protest. He had said that the commission has submitted its recommendations and government would consider them with regards to OBC quota demands.

The district administration is trying to convince the protesters to lift the blockade. “We are trying to convince the Jat leaders and have urged them to maintain law and order,” said district collector Gupta .

Meanwhile, nine trains were cancelled and the road traffic remained affected in Bharatpur and neighbouring areas in Rajasthan due to the protests by the Jat community. Rail and road network connecting Bharatpur were jammed due to the agitation. Three trains were partially cancelled and two were diverted.

Station superintendent, Bharatpur junction, BK Singhal said the rail traffic has been badly affected due to the Jat agitation.

The protesters are sitting on the tracks disrupting the traffic on Alwar-Mathura, Agra-Jaipur, and Bandikui-Agra sections, forcing the North Western Railway authorities to cancel and divert trains.

Jaipur-Allahabad, Ajmer-Agra fort, Agra fort-Ajmer, Mathur-Alwar, Alwar-Mathura, Bandikui-Bareilly, Eidhgarh-Bandikui, Bandikui-Eidhgarh and Agra fort-Jaipur trains have been cancelled.

Allahabad-Jaipur, Mathura-Bhiwani, Bareilly-Bandikui trains have been partially cancelled while Ajmer-Sealdah and Jodhpur-Varanasi trains have been diverted due to the agitation, an NWR spokesperson said. On Thursday, a goods train was stopped by the agitators near Deeg in Bharatpur.

NWR’s chief public relations officer Tarun Jain requested the passengers to check the status of trains before planning their trips.

The protesters have also blocked portions of the national highways connecting Bharatpur to Mathura, Agra and Jaipur. They are also staging blockade on state highways at Kanjoli Line, Kumher, Deeg, Bedham, Pasta, Rarah and Delh road in Kaman.

“State transport and private buses are being diverted to alternative routes. Market in Bharatpur is closed to avoid any untoward incident,” SP Bharatpur Anil Kumar Tank said.

First Published: Jun 23, 2017 17:04 IST