Jats continue blockages despite court orders
Chandigarh: 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, told a news agency.
"I cannot comment on whether we will vacate the tracks or not as it would be a collective decision. We have conveyed the message of the high court to the protestors and now they would themselves decide further action," he added.
Seeking inclusion of the Jat community in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category for quotas in central and Haryana government jobs, Jat community members have blockaded nearly 20 railway tracks across Haryana.
Various Jat leaders on Friday held secret meetings with their community members and planned to block the crucial Ambala-Delhi railway line.
Police have increased its vigil near the tracks.
"We would not allow Jats to block any more railway track in the state. Security has been increased near the Amabal-Delhi railway line as we have got information that some Jat protestors plans to block it Friday," said a police official here on Friday.
The worst affected are the districts of Hisar, Bhiwani and Jind. Passengers have been stranded in various parts of Haryana and some parts of adjoining Punjab due to the blockade.
Northern railway authorities have been forced to cancel several long distance and inter-city trains in Haryana in the last few days.
Leaders of Haryana`s Jats had also threatened to halt road and train traffic and disrupt water supplies to Delhi if the authorities failed to promise them quotas in government jobs.
"We are ready to face the wrath of the government and are even ready to sacrifice our lives. We just want the government to either say `yes` or `no` to our demands. They are fooling us for the last many years," stated Malik.
The high court had Thursday directed the Jats to immediately leave the railway tracks they blocked in several parts of Haryana for nearly three weeks. The court had also asked the administration in stir-hit districts to ensure that all Jat protesters were removed from the railway tracks.