Rail services along the Alwar-Mathura route in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan were affected Friday night after Jat protesters blocked the railway tracks seeking OBC quota reservation for the community belonging to Dholpur and Bharatpur districts. The blockade is continuing. The Agra-Bandikui rail route has also been hit.
The protests come even as the state OBC commission submitted its report on the eligibility of their reservation to the government on Thursday. The Rajasthan government had set up the commission in February 2016 after the Rajasthan High Court quashed reservation to the Jats of these two districts. The court had then directed the state government to survey the status of Jat community in order to see if they were in need of reservation.
According to a GRP official, the protesters first held a ‘mahapanchayat’ near the tracks and then blocked the railway line between Vehaj and Bedham railway stations. The protesters are led by Congress MLA Vishvendra Singh, according to the news agency PTI. The official also said a goods train was stopped by the agitators near Deeg in Bharatpur.
“People are agitated and they don’t want any assurances. If government is really willing to provide reservation to Jats in OBC, they should come to Bharatpur and give people in writing when it will be implemented,” Singh told PTI.
On Thursday Singh had said that Jats from Dholpur and Bharatpur have been demanding reservation from August 2015, but it has not been fulfilled. “We have been demanding OBC reservation for Jats of Dholpur and Bharatpur for the last two years. The long-pending demand has not been fulfilled. It is under rising pressure that the OBC Commission has submitted its report today. But they have not declared when it will be implemented. We want the government to come out clear,” he said.
The OBC commission had submitted its report to CM Vasundhara Raje, on Thursday, after which the Jat community belonging to Dholpur and Bharatpur districts blocked the railway line, following the decision of a Mahapanchayat.
Social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi has urged the Jats to call off the protest. “The Jats should withdraw their agitation as the OBC Commission today presented its report to the state government. The state government is positive for reservation to Jats,” said Chaturvedi.
Meanwhile, the ongoing Jat agitation is said to have affected over 100 trains on the Delhi-Mumbai route. The protests have led to disruptions on six different locations, on the Kota and Agra divisions, of the Delhi-Mumbai rail route.