With Jats deciding to intensify their agitation, which entered the ninth day on Sunday, rail traffic on the Delhi-Lucknow route remained disrupted. The Railways have cancelled 18 trains and diverted others. Among the trains cancelled for Sunday and Monday are the Lucknow Mail (12229 and 12230) and Varanasi-New Delhi Kashi Vishwanath Express. Following the disruption of train services, air travel to Delhi has become dearer thanks to a heavy rush for plane tickets.

While the Jats, demanding reservation within a 27 per cent quota in Central government jobs, continued with their dharna at the Kafurpur railway station in Amroha (Jyotiba Phule Nagar district) of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, a Jat “mahapanchayat” was held in Mubarakpur in Ghaziabad district. According to reports, the mahapanchayat will decide on the possibility of cutting water supply to Delhi. The convener of Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, Yashpal Malik told reporters at Amroha that the stir would continue until the demand was accepted by the Central government. The Sangharsh Samiti has given a call to gherao MPs.

The Jats had mounted an agitation in western Uttar Pradesh last year but the stir was withdrawn following an assurance that their demand would be considered.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mayawati has extended support to the demand and condemned the Centre for not taking a decision on the issue. State BJP president Surya Pratap Shahi told reporters that the Centre should take a call soon.Interestingly, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, whose core support base is made up of Jats, has stayed away from the agitation in western Uttar Pradesh. Reports said the RLD backed the claims of the rival Jat Aarakhshan Sangharsh Samiti led by Chaudhary Harpal Singh. A meeting of the rival group is likely to be held in Delhi this week and the RLD is expected to be present.

Keywords: Jat agitation