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Clear rail tracks of Jats: Court

Rajesh Ahuja

“We will retaliate in case force is used to evict us,” they warn

— Photo: PTI

Preventive action:Uttar Pradesh Police and Rapid Action Force personnel at the Ghaziabad-Delhi border on Thursday in the wake of the Jat stir for reservation.

CHANDIGARH: The stalemate persisted on Thursday in Haryana with Jat agitators making it clear that they would not clear the railway tracks despite the directions of the Punjab & Haryana High Court to the State Government to get the blockades cleared immediately.

A Division Bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi directed the Haryana Government to take immediate steps to restore the normal movement of trains.

The Bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the National Consumer Awareness Group Society.

Taking strong note of the inconvenience caused to the public due to the ongoing dharna by the Jats at nearly 15 railway tracks in the State, the Court directed the Government to immediately convey the order to the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police concerned as well as the agitating Jat leaders for its compliance.

The Court further observed that the Jats could continue their protest in any other peaceful mode which was not contrary to the national interest.

Haryana Home Secretary Samir Mathur and State Director-General of Police Ranjiv Dalal were present in Court when the order was delivered.

The Court had directed the Government on Tuesday to inform it on Thursday regarding the steps taken to restore uninterrupted movement of trains in the State.

The Jats in Haryana have been squatting on railway tracks mostly in Hisar, Jind, Bhiwani and Fatehabad districts for the past 20 days demanding reservation for the community in Central Government jobs.

Appeal to agitators

According to reports reaching here, the Deputy Commissioners, who received the formal Court orders later in the day, have reiterated their appeal to the agitators to clear the tracks voluntarily in deference to the Court orders.

The Superintendent of Police (Railways) has also issued a similar appeal.

However, Hawa Singh Sangwan, Haryana unit chief of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, asserted that the agitation would continue till the demand for reservation is conceded.

He further warned that the agitators would “retaliate'' in case “force” is used to evict them from the railway tracks.

Meanwhile, the body of 62-year-old Jat agitator Vijay Singh, a resident of Mehuwala (Bhattu Kalan) village, who died on Wednesday while observing indefinite hunger strike on the railway track was cremated on Thursday.

Reports said that the condition of nine other Jat agitators who were sitting on hunger strike had deteriorated and four of them had been rushed to hospital where they had refused to take treatment.

Even though it was not clear what action the Government would take, highly-placed sources here said that parleys between Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the Jat leaders, which had apparently broken down, were on the cards to resolve the tangle.

It was also being said that the Congress regime was still not in favour of using “force'' to evict the agitators and the emphasis was on “using persuasion and negotiation”.

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