Haryana, UP CMs supporting Jat stir: SC

The ongoing Jat agitation has badly crippled rail traffic in parts of north India.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday took strong exception to 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.

The bench made the remarks after taking note of the reported statements of the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh -- Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Mayawati respectively -- indicating support to the agitation that has hit rail and road traffic in several parts of northern India.

Agitating Jats have threatened to cut off supply of essentials to Delhi if their demands for reservation in central jobs are not met.

"We make it clear that while citizens have right to protest, we also make it clear that resorting to such steps should not lead to disruption of supply of essential
commodities in the interests of citizen," the bench said.

In Chandigarh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Haryana Government to immediately get the rail tracks and other blockades cleared to restore normal movement of trains.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi gave the order on a PIL filed by Chandigarh-based NGO National Consumer Awareness Group Society.

In its order, the apex court bench asked the state governments to ensure free flow of water and other essential items like milk, dairy products and vegetables to the national capital.

It also directed Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments to see to it that transportation of oil and petroleum products from Mathura and Panipat oil refineries to Delhi should not be affected in any manner.

"We are also directing the respondents (Governments of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan) that they will ensure that oil refineries of Panipat and Mathura are not affected and the supply and transportation of petroleum products either through
pipelines or road and railways is not affected," it said.

The bench issued these directions on two urgent petitions filed by the Delhi Jal Board and the Indian Oil Corporation during a special sitting held at the apex court,
which is currently closed on account of Holi vacation.

The bench asked the states to see to it that public transport facilities are not disrupted.


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