Jats remove blockade but talks with govt failed

Last Updated: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - 23:54

New Delhi/Lucknow: The Jats, agitating for
job quota, on Saturday withdrew their fortnight-long blockade from
the railway tracks following an Allahabad High Court order
wbut a crucial meeting between the protesters and the
government failed to find an amicable solution to the demand.
Emerging from a meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram
and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik, All
India Jat Aarakshan Samiti chief Yashpal Malik said they have
decided to allow movement of trains following yesterday`s
Allahabad High court order and removed tents from the tracks.

"The government accepted that the demand of job quota for
the Jats is justified. But the government did not give any
commitment on the time-limit on implementation of our demand,"
he told reporters outside the Home Ministry amidst
sloganeering by his supporters.

Malik said that as of now their agitation was continuing
and would decide about their course of action after holding
a meeting with the community elders soon.

Secretary to the Union Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment K M Acharya said the demand for inclusion of Jats
into the central government list of OBCs has to be taken by
the Backward Castes Commission, for which the government
cannot give any time-bound commitment as the Commission was an
independent entity.

"There is no final solution. They have not given any
assurance on withdrawal of the talks. We told them that any
decision of the Commission would be implemented by the
government urgently. It is not possible for the government to
give a time limit," he said.

Asked what would be the government`s response if the
protesting Jats renew their blockade on the railway tracks,
Acharya said "since law and order is a state subject, we hope
that the concerned state government will take the necessary
steps for smooth flow of train and road traffic".
On an Allahabad High Court order asking the protesting
Jats to lift the blockade of the rail tracks, the Jats
allowed movement of trains at Moradabad railway station and
also lifted the blockade on the national highway.

The agitation to demand reservation in central government
jobs began on March 5 and had thrown train services out of
gear forcing the Railways to cancel dozens of trains passing
through the area enroute Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Taking suo motu cognisance of public inconvenience caused
by the ongoing Jat agitation, the Allahabad High Court had
yesterday directed officials of Uttar Pradesh and the Central
government to clear railway tracks and national highways of
the protesters.


First Published: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - 23:54
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