Haryana Jats meet Hooda, withdraw agitation

Chandigarh: Jats demanding reservation in government jobs have decided to withdraw their three-week-long agitation that badly hit train traffic in parts of north India after talks with Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The breakthrough came last night after Hooda agreed to set up a Haryana Backward Classes Commission within a month to consider the demand of communities of Roar, Jat, Jat Sikh, Tagi, Bishnoi and others desiring to come under the ambit of the Backward Classes.

In a statement issued here, Hooda said those agitating had agreed to lift all blockades and dharnas with immediate effect.

The Jat protesters will lift all blockades on train tracks and roads by noon.

Yashpal Malik, the President of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, which was spearheading the agitation, said they would be holding a meeting of Jat leaders this morning to discuss the outcome of their talks with the state government.

They would then meet the protestors and communicate the decision to withdraw the agitation.

President of Haryana Jat Arakshan Samiti Hawa Singh Sangwan, President of Benayan Khap Dada Nafe Singh, and representatives of other Khaps thanked the chief minister for the decision to set up the Commission, an official spokesman said here.

The Jat agitation had paralysed rail traffic in many parts of north India for the past several days as the community members had been sitting on dharna on the tracks at 14 different lines in the state.

The decision to withdraw the agitation comes days after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Haryana government to immediately get the rail tracks cleared of protesters to restore normal movement of trains.

The high court had also directed all the groups spearheading the Jat agitation to exclude the blockades of trains from their agitational programmes with immediate effect.

The Supreme Court had also asked Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments to ensure that supply of essential commodities including water to the national capital was not disrupted in the wake of threats by Jats agitating for quota in central jobs.