Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court yesterday directed the Uttar Pradesh Government and the Northern Railways to file affidavits that rail routes, including the national and state highways, must not be blocked during the next phase of the Jats’ proposed agitation from March 28.
On March 18, while taking a suo motu cognisance of the reports on blocking of railway tracks by the Jats in Jyotiba Phule district (Amroha), Chief Justice F.I. Rebello had referred the matter to a bench comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice V.K. Dixit.
The court had then summoned principal secretary (home) Kunwar Fateh Bahadur and director-general of police Karamveer Singh to seek details of the steps taken by the state government to clear the tracks. It had also directed the state government to take immediate action to ensure the rail services were resumed on the Lucknow-Delhi route.
On Wednesday, the court once again stressed on its orders and asked the government to ensure that train and transport services were not disrupted because of the ongoing agitation.
The state government and the Northern Railways have been given time till April 13 to file affidavits for the same.
Although the Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (JASS) had left the railway tracks in Amroha after the court’s order, they have again threatened to block all routes to Delhi from March 28 if their demands are not met. They have also decided to disrupt the supply of water, milk and vegetables to the national Capital from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The community is demanding a five per cent reservation within the 27 per cent of the OBC quota in the central government jobs.
A Jat Panchayat in Amroha on Monday had also given an ultimatum in advance to the state and the central government before launching agitations.
The agitations have dealt a severe blow to the Northern Railways operations, which has reportedly suffered losses of over Rs 200 crore, a railway official said.
According to the official, the railways was still assessing the quantum of losses suffered during the agitation. The overall losses may be in the range of above Rs 200 crore, as the protests still continue in the states neighbouring the national Capital.
The official added that freight traffic, in particular, has suffered and the transportation of perishables and on-time performance of the railways has been hit severely.
Railway officials informed 66 trains were cancelled on Wednesday, a day after Jat agitators blocked the movement of 71 more trains.
Train services on 14 rail lines in Haryana, including Mumbai-Delhi-Rewari, Bhiwani-Delhi-Rohtak, Delhi-Ludhiana-Jind, Narwana-Kurukshetra, Rohtak-Panipat, Rewari-Loharu, Loharu-Jaipur, Hisar-Jaipur, Bhiwani-Hisar, Hisar-Bathinda, and Delhi-Jind-Ludhiana continued to remain disrupted for yet another day on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, chief minister Mayawati has held the Centre responsible for the agitation while giving a clean chit to the JASS. Sources, however, said the reason the BSP government has not taken any initiative to force the Jats away from the tracks is because it wants to draw mileage from the incident in the 2012 assembly elections.
Curtsey: Mail Today