Jaipur, Feb 23 (IANS) The Jat community in Rajasthan has called off its stir, a minister announced on Tuesday — the third day of the agitation demanding reservations which saw a mob try to set afire the engine of a goods train.
“The Jat agitation has been called off following talks,” Social Welfare Minister Arun Chaturvedi, who had been holding discussions with Jat leaders, said in Bharatpur, the epicentre of the stir in the state.
Prominent Jat leader and Congress legislator Vishwendra Singh said the state government accepted all the major demands of the community.
“I request my community members to lift the road and rail blockades,” Vishwendra Singh said at a press conference in Bharatpur.
“We have requested the OBC Commission to visit the areas and study and assess the social and economic status of the Jat community soon in Bharatpur and Dholpur districts.
“The state government has accepted our demand and it (government) will urge the OBC Commission to visit the areas soon,” he added.
The state government also agreed to give statutory status to the OBC Commssion.
“We will bring a bill in this regard in the next session of the assembly. Presently, this commission has been constituted on administrative orders,” Chaturvedi said.
Jats in Rajasthan are classified as Other Backward Classes (OBC), except for Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur districts. Jats in Bharatpur are now demanding that they also be classified as OBCs.
Earlier in the day, the protest badly affected road and railway traffic in Bharatpur district, over 170 km from state capital Jaipur.
A police officer told IANS that the protesters had resorted to road and train blockades in some places, mainly between Bharatpur to Mathura, Jaipur and Agra and roads connecting various towns in the district.
In Nadabi, Helak and Bharatpur city, protesters vandalised properties and shops, while in Khumer, they damaged two ATMS.
In Helak railway station, protesters tried to torch the engine of a goods train. They also tried to set ablaze a room in Paprera railway station.
However, police were able to douse the fire in both the cases.
Many trains in the Jaipur, Agra and Mathura sectors were cancelled while train traffic between the important Delhi-Mumbai sector was also affected.
Roads from Bharatpur to Delhi, Deeg, Alwar and Mathura were also blocked.
To maintain law and order, the district administration had earlier imposed prohibitory orders and blocked mobile internet and internet service in the district.
The protesters on Monday set ablaze a Rajasthan Roadways bus, and damaged another near Bharatpur city.