The Jats, agitating for job quota, today withdrew their fortnight-long blockade from the railway tracks following an Allahabad High Court order, but 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.
Mr. 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, Mr. 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.