The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has issued orders to shut all Delhi Metro stations outside Delhi from Sunday night, with Jat protesters threatening to step up their agitation. This is expected to create severe difficulties for office-goers and other commuters on Monday.
The Jat community on Friday said it will continue with its protests for reservations in jobs and education across Haryana and will also lay siege to the national capital on 20 March.
The DMRC, on the directions of the Delhi Police, will terminate all trains at the last station on all metro lines from 11:30 pm on Sunday. The police has also demanded that entry and exit (after 8 pm) should be closed at 12 metro stations in central Delhi.
These 12 stations are Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Lok Kalyan Marg, Janpath, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, RK Ashram Marg, Pragati Maidan, Khan Market and Shivaji Stadium.
The restrictions and suspensions will be in place starting Sunday till further orders are issued. In light of the expected chaos, security arrangements, including the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), have been tightened at these 12 stations. Metro officials have also been advised not to sell tickets to commuters after Sunday night.
Though the police has asked the metro officials to shut the stations, the DMRC will only stop passengers from exiting and entry will be open. The interchange facility could be availed as usual at the Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat stations.
CBSE Issues Advisory for Students
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Saturday issued an advisory for students of classes X and XII appearing for examinations on Monday in view of Jat groups threatening to intensify their agitation.
CBSE Advisory The students and parents are hereby informed and advised to take necessary measures to reach the examination centres well before the scheduled time to avoid any inconvenience in anticipation of the gherao.
Stop Jats From Reaching Delhi: Home Ministry to Cops
The Centre has asked police forces of Delhi and its neighbouring states to stop the agitators before they reach the borders of the capital.
In an advisory, the Union Home Ministry told Delhi Police and governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to invoke Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Section 144 to stop the Jat protesters.
“Arrest or detain the protesters much before they enter Delhi, disallow movement of buses carrying the protesters on highways and ban tractor trolley movement,” the advisory said.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi instructed the officials to ensure peace and prevent attempts to disrupt normal life during the protests.
All-India Jat Sanrakshan Sangharsh Samiti president Yashpal Malik had said the Jats riding their tractors and small vehicles, and carrying at least 10-day rations, will march towards Delhi on the highways from the neighbouring states. The Samiti is spearheading the agitation for Jat reservation.
Sec 144 Imposed, Internet Services Suspended in Haryana
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were imposed and internet services suspended in many 'sensitive' districts of Haryana on Saturday.
Section 144 of CrPC, prohibiting unlawful assembly, has been imposed in many sensitive districts, including Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri and Hisar, where internet services have also been suspended for indefinite period, official sources told PTI.
Restrictions have been imposed on the movement of tractor-trolleys from one district to another, they said, adding that the Army has been called in to manage the situation.
Meanwhile, All-India Jat Aarkashan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), the body spearheading the agitation for reservation, remained firm on laying a siege to the national capital from 20 March as they alleged that their demands had not been met.
Stand-Off With Khattar Behind Intensifying Protests
Talks between top Jat leaders and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, which were scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Friday, could not be held. Jat leaders accused Khattar and his government of going back on assurances made to the Jat community on Thursday and earlier. However, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told media in Chandigarh said that the Jat leaders had backed out of talks which were to be held on Friday.
Jat leader Yashpal Malik told the media in Rohtak town, 70 km from Delhi, that the BJP government had hatched a conspiracy to weaken the Jat agitation by misleading the Jats. He said Khattar left Delhi on Friday for Chandigarh without meeting the Jat leaders.
Yashpal Malik The state government hatched a conspiracy against us and misled the people in order to weaken the agitation. The cancellation of the meeting with the Chief Minister has left us with no alternative but to continue the agitation.
The Jat agitation, which began on 29 January, completed 49 days on Saturday.
(Source: Hindustan Times, IANS, PTI)