BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
Hisar, Punjab: Showing intent to implement the High Court’s orders, Uttar Pradesh police today said that Jat agitators would not be allowed to disrupt rail or road traffic. Jat leaders had yesterday threatened to intensify their agitation after a protester on hunger strike died in Haryana.
While Jat protestors continued blocking railway traffic in Haryana on Friday despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s orders to immediately vacate the tracks and the Supreme Court ordering the state to stop them.
“We are not happy with the verdict of the high court. They have simply directed the government to remove Jat protestors from railway tracks, but the court did not bother to look into the reasons and grievances for which we have been protesting for 21 days,” Yashpal Malik, national president of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, said.
With the Jat agitation paralysing rail traffic in parts of northern India, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Haryana Government to immediately get the rail tracks cleared of protesters to restore normal movement of trains.
Giving the direction on a PIL filed by city-based NGO National Consumer Awareness Group Society, the Division bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi observed that unaffected and unobstructed train movement throughout the length and breadth of the country was in national interest.
The official said that as per conservative estimate,Railways are losing Rs five crore per day due to the cancellation and short termination.The Jat agitation on Delhi-Bathinda section of Northern Railway and on Bikaner and Jaipur Division of North Western Railway has swelled railways losses to over Rs 100 crore now, the official said.
“Heavy police has been deployed in sensitive areas where there is possibility of fresh agitation by Jats,” Special Director General of Police Brij Lal said. Railways have already announced today cancellation of 76 trains and diversion of 32 due to the agitation.
Later, addressing those sitting on dharna at Mehuwala rail track in Fatehabad district, All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti President Yash Pal Malik demanded the status of a martyr for Vijay Singh and financial aid to the family of the deceased.
The jat community is demanding reservation in Central services and states of Punjab, Haryana and Jammu under the OBC category. The agitation has led to cancellation of hundreds of passenger, goods and express trains causing not only inconvenience to the people, but also resulting in disruption of coal and grain supplies. The railways have lost hundreds of crores of revenue.
The organisation spearheading the protest has announced plans to block supplies to the national Capital on March 28 to press for their demand.
Brij Lal said that other than the local police, 21 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary and 12 companies of Rapid Action Force have been deployed in Meerut, Saharanpur,Aligarh, Agra and Moradabad areas.
Jats are continuing their stir in front of Kafurganj railway station in Amroha district, although they cleared railway tracks in other parts of UP after intervention of the High Court.
The Supreme Court also slammed Uttar Pradesh and Haryana Chief Ministers’ “support” to Jat stir for quota in central jobs and asked the two states and Rajasthan to ensure that the supply of water and other essential commodities to Delhi is not affected.
“We are constrained to pass the order having regard to the statements made by the highest functionaries of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh indicating support to the agitation,” a bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Dalveer Bhandari said.