Train services in Bharatpur and neighbouring areas of Rajasthan were affected on Friday following agitation by members of the Jat community demanding reservation, PTI reported. The agitators, belonging to Dholpur and Bharatpur districts, have been seeking reservation under the Other Backward Classes category .

Nine trains have been cancelled while a few others have been either short-terminated or diverted, PTI reported. The Shatabdi Express between Jaipur and Agra Fort will terminate at Bandikul, the Bhiwani to Mathura train will terminate at Alwar. Meanwhile, the Udaipur-Khajuraho Express and Allahabad-Jaipur Superfast Express have been diverted. “Our team is making a plan to cancel, divert and short terminate trains,” Anil Saxena, director general, PR, Railways, told ANI. “We appeal to Jat protestors not to block rail routes.”

Led by Congress leader Vishvendra Singh, the Jat community members blocked the Alwar Mathura rail line in Bharatpur since Thursday evening. Road traffic also got affected by the protests. Buses were diverted as roads connecting Bharatpur, Jaipur, Mahua and Agra were blocked. Shops have been shut in Bharatpur to avoid clashes, Bharatpur Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar Tank told PTI.

The agitation

The agitators from Dholpur and Bharatpur have been demanding benefits under the OBC category after the Rajasthan High Court had ended their reservation in 2015. As per the high court order, the Rajasthan government in 2016 had constituted an OBC Commission to conduct a survey to compare the Jats’ social and economic status to other dominant castes in these two districts, DNA reported.

On Thursday, the commission had submitted its report to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, following which the agitations began. “People are agitated and they don’t want any assurances,” Vishvendra Singh told PTI. “If the government is really willing to provide reservation to Jats in OBC, they should come to Bharatpur and give people in writing when it will be implemented.”