LUCKNOW: The Jat agitation demanding reservation in central services and in states of Punjab, Haryana and Jammu under other backward class (OBC) category spread to other parts of UP and adjoining states on Saturday.
While the rail route blockade at Kafurpur in JP Nagar continued for seventh day, Jatwala Khap panchayat of Jats in Muzaffarnagar served an ultimatum that it will block all roads to Delhi from their district if the demand was not met in next 48 hours. Reports of Jats blocking the roads and holding demonstrations also poured in from Haryana and Punjab. Jats may hold a protest in Delhi on Sunday.
In UP, Jats under the banner of All India Jat Arakshan Samiti have blocked the rail tracks in Kafurpur for past one week, causing a loss of over Rs eight crore to railways and inconvenience to over two lakh people. All major trains connecting Uttarakhand and west UP to Delhi are not plying on the route since the start of the agitation. Trains to other parts of UP and beyond have been diverted, leading to 10-12 hours delay in movement.
No relief appears in sight as the Central government has not taken any concrete step so far to persuade Jats to withdraw the agitation. The talks between Jat delegation and Union cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekhar remained inconclusive on Thursday. While the Centre wants more time to consider the demand, Jats said they will not lift the siege till their demand is met or they get an assurance either from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi or Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
All India Jat Arakshan Samiti president Yashpal Mallik said the demand of reservation for the Jat community, which includes Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs settled in different parts of north India, is 20 years old. For past three years, he added, Jats have been peacefully agitating. “Several times in the past we withdrew our agitation on the assurance of the government but this time we want something concrete,” he said. He also pointed out that when Jats have already been provided reservation under OBC category in UP and Rajasthan, why the Centre is reluctant to implement it in the central services. While thanking UP chief minister Mayawati for her support, Mallik said the agitation is non-political. “Anybody who wants to support us can do so but no party politics or self-promotion will be allowed from our platform,” he said. Political parties, barring the Bahujan Samaj Party, have been silent over the issue so far.
Meanwhile, rail services were disrupted at Hisar in Haryana due to the Jat stir. The rail traffic was affected on Hisar-Bhiwani, Hisar-Jakhal and Hisar-Sadalpur, a railway official said. The Jats also held protest at Narwana affecting rail traffic on Delhi-Ferozepur section. Six khap panchayats of Narwana in Haryana have decided to support the agitation. In Punjab, Jats blocked the Amritsar-Jalandhar rail section at village Khilchian near Amritsar. Jat leaders said they are planning to hold an agitation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.