Haryana Jats call off agitation, to lift railway blockades

March 26th, 2011 - 10:00 am ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Chandigarh, March 26 (IANS) Jat community members, who had been protesting in Haryana for the last three weeks and had blocked rail tracks at several places, have suspended their agitation, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said in a statement Saturday.

The Jat protesters, who are seeking reservation for the community under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota, will lift all blockades from rail tracks Saturday.

The decision was taken past Friday midnight following a meeting of Jat leaders with Hooda in Jind town, 220 km from here.

The breakthrough came after Hooda agreed to set up a Haryana Backward Classes Commission within a month.

The commission would consider the demand of the communities of Roar, Jat, Jat Sikh, Tyagi, Bishnoi and any other community who wishes to be under the ambit of the backward classes in the state.

Hawa Singh Sangwan, president of the Haryana Jat Arakshan Samiti; Nafe Singh, president of the Benayan Khap, and representatives of other khaps (community councils) attended the meeting with Hooda.

The Jat leaders earlier held meetings with union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi but the stalemate over giving them reservation under the OBC quota had continued.

The protesters, including women, children and the elderly, had blocked rail tracks at 15 points across Haryana. The worst affected were the districts of Hisar, Bhiwani and Jind.

Thousands of passengers were put to inconvenience as authorities cancelled several trains passing through Haryana in the last three weeks.

The Jat leaders had earlier announced that they would block the Delhi-Ambala-Amritsar rail track if their demand was not met by March 25. The deadline ended Friday.

The leaders also warned that if their demands were not met by March 28, they would block all roads and rail tracks in Haryana, including those going to Delhi.

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