Jaipur: Flames of Jat reservation agitation reached Eastern Rajasthan, where, members of the community blocked railway tracks and national highway in Bharatpur district on Monday. As the protest threatened to gain momentum, the state government has requested the central government 28 companies of para-military forces.
After a section of community leaders yesterday extended support to the ongoing reservation protests in Haryana, youth members of the community in Bharatpur came out on streets in the morning on several places. They set a state roadways bus on fire and damaged another, blocked Jaipur-Agra and Kota-Mathura railway lines near Paprera and Jaghina railway stations, respectively. They also blocked Jaipur-Agra national highway near Ooncha Nagla and clashed with the police, prompting the district administration to impose prohibitory orders.
"Deeg, Jaipur and Mathura highways and Jaipur and Mumbai railway tracks are closed. The protestors have also blocked the highway last night. Efforts are on to control the situation," Additional SP Bharat Lal Meena said.
Taking note of the violence, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has appealed to the Jat community members of Dholpur and Bharatpur districts to maintain peace and communal harmony. Raje said in a statement that her government has already constituted OBC Commission and EBC Commission. She said Jats in Dholpur and Bharatpur should maintain peace and law and order, so that the OBC commission can present its report on reservation to Jats.
Jat community in Rajasthan was included in the OBC 1999 excluding those from Bharatpur and Dholpur as these two were princely states thus considered as the ruling class but succumbing to political pressure, a year later Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot included Jats from these two districts as well in the OBC list.
However, the decision was challenged and last year Rajasthan High Court had quashed the state's notification of January 10, 2000 granting OBC quota for the Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur. Earlier, in 2014 the Supreme Court too had quashed the central notification on quota to the Jat community of certain states, including those in Bharatpur and Dholpur districts.
Since then the demand for the OBC reservation for the community in these two districts has been simmering. In fact, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje a couple of months before Lok Sabha election had requested the UPA government to include Jats from Bharatpur and Dholpur districts in the central Other Backward Classes (OBC) list. In a letter to then Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Mallikarjun Kharge, Ms. Raje urged the Centre to include Jats from the two districts where they hail from the ruling class in the central OBC list.
Now, community leaders owing cutting across party lines have extended support to Jat reservation agitation in Haryana while reiterating demand for inclusion of Bharatpur and Dholpur Jats in the OBC.