Jats remove blockade from rail tracks; threaten to renew stir

Jats remove blockade from rail tracks; threaten to renew stir

On an Allahabad High Court order, they allowed movement of trains at Moradabad railway station and also lifted blockade on the national highway. "We have decided to allow movement of trains following yesterday's Allahabad High court order. We have removed tents from the tracks. However, our agitation is continuing," All India Jat Aarakshan Samiti chief Yashpal Malik said.

"We will resume our agitation on the tracks if our demands are not met," he said, adding, "We have been invited for talks by the Home Minister and we are going to Delhi".

The agitation to demand reservation in Central government jobs had begun 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.

However, seeking to take credit for the Jat leaders clearing the tracks, Chief Minister Mayawati said the people of the community have done so on an appeal from the state government.

Accusing the Centre of precipitating the Jat crisis, she told reporters here, "It was due to the lackadaisical attitude of the Centre that the problem aggravated and the HC had to intervene. We are thankful to the court for paving the way for getting the tracks cleared."

Following the court order, the government launched an exercise to get the tracks cleared yesterday itself, she said. The state sought 5,000 Central paramilitary personnel last evening but, the reinforcement has not been provided so far, she complained, adding, whenever the state had demanded CPMF in crucial situations, the Centre turned it down on some pretext.

She said that in the absence of Central forces, the state decided to get the tracks cleared with the help of its limited resources. "Force was sent last night and cabinet minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narain, DGP and Principal Secretary (Home) reached the spot to ensure that the exercise was carried out peacefully," she said.

"In the meantime, last appeal was made to members of the community to clear the tracks, to which they conceded today," she said. Mayawati said the UP government supports their demand but since the matter comes under the ambit of the Centre, it is for the Union government to decide.