Jat Community Initiates Protest, Establishes Camps Near Bharatpur-Dholpur Railway Track for Quota Inclusion

In 2015, reservation for Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur along with nine states was abolished by the Centre citing shortcomings in the provisions of law and procedures.
A file pic from the Jat quota protest at Jantar Mantar in 2017.
A file pic from the Jat quota protest at Jantar Mantar in 2017.

Jaipur- The Jat community in Bharatpur-Dholpur has initiated agitation, starting Wednesday, urging for the inclusion of Other Backward Class (OBC) reservations at the central level. The agitation, centered in the village of Jaicholi,in the Ucchain tehsil of Bharatpur, is gradually gaining momentum with the Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti planning to sustain the movement peacefully until January 22. In the event of no positive response from the government, intensification of agitation with rail blockade on the Delhi-Mumbai railway track has been forewarned.

It is noteworthy that the convener of the Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti Nem Singh Faujdar, had issued a ten-day ultimatum to the central government during the protest rally on January 7th, articulating that a Mahapadaav/demonstration would be initiated near the Delhi-Mumbai railway track in Jaicholi village from January 17th if they were not granted reservation. A memorandum regarding the inclusion of Jats in the central reservation list was also sent to the prime minister through the district collector on January 12 but no hearing has been held on the matter yet, he said.

In response to this significant agitation, a substantial police force has been deployed in the village, and administrative officials are conducting on-site inspections. The Jat community in Bharatpur and Dholpur currently benefits from state-level reservations but has been advocating for central OBC reservations since 1998.

Despite a meeting between the Committee's representatives and district administration on Tuesday evening, the dialogue yielded no positive outcome. With no affirmative action from the government, the protestors commenced a massive agitation on Wednesday. As days progress, an increasing number of community members from Bharatpur and Dholpur are joining the movement. District officials are closely monitoring the situation, but the absence of a constructive government response has led to the intensification of the agitation.

Enhanced Security Measures, Vigilance on Critical Routes and Districts

In addition to the Mahapadav site, intensified patrolling has begun on the Mumbai Railway Track and Agra-Bikaner National Highway. Beyond the four districts within the division, law enforcement personnel have been mobilized and stationed, including reinforcements from Ajmer. Six RAC Battalions, 180 policemen, RPF and GRPF teams have been deployed in the entire area.

Nem Singh Faujdar, the convener of the quota movement underscored that during the Hunkar Sabha held at Januthar in Deeg on January 7, the Central Government was accorded a grace period of 10 days. Regrettably, the government remained indifferent to this ultimatum. A significant encampment has been established near the Delhi-Mumbai railway track in Bharatpur district.

The second Mahapadav is slated to transpire at Bedham village in Deeg district, followed by the third at Rarh in Bharatpur district. Leaders representing the Jat community in over 100 villages have been entrusted with the responsibility of facilitating their participation in the Mahapadav.

The Long-Pending Demand for 25 years

The demand for reservation for Jats in the central government has persisted since 1998, particularly in Bharatpur and Dholpur districts. In 2013, the Manmohan Singh government extended OBC reservation to Jats and nine other states. However, owing to a Supreme Court order, the reservation for Jats in both Bharatpur and Dholpur, both at the central and state levels, was abruptly discontinued in August 2015. After a protracted struggle, on August 23, 2017, the erstwhile Vasundhara government reinstated OBC reservation for Jats in both districts. Nevertheless, the central government has regrettably failed to implement this crucial reservation. In September 2021, amid the Jat community's announcement of a chakka jam, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took a decisive step by writing a recommendation letter to the central government on December 28, 2021, advocating OBC reservation for Jats in both districts. Despite earnest meetings with central government ministers, the long-sought reservation remains elusive.

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