The agitation seeking reservation in education and government jobs for the Jat community among other demands entered its 21st day today.
With Jat leaders threatening to intensify their agitation for reservation by observing “Balidan Divas” (day of sacrifice) tomorrow, the Haryana police today said that there will be maximum deployment of forces to prevent any untoward incident. The agitation seeking reservation in education and government jobs for the Jat community among other demands entered its 21st day today. “There will be maximum deployment of forces from Haryana and of the forces from outside the state tomorrow,” Haryana’s ADGP (Law and Order) Mohd Akil told reporters here. In view of the fresh round of stir, he said there will be deployment of 37 companies of the paramilitary forces.
He said the Jat leaders spearheading the stir had held a round of talks with a Haryana government-appointed committee of senior bureaucrats and the next round was likely to take place on February 20, which could be held in Panipat, venue of the previous parleys. Akil said he hoped that those sitting on dharnas would maintain peace the way they had been doing in the current round of stir. On being asked whether drone cameras would be used to monitor the agitation tomorrow, the ADGP said local field commanders would take a call in that regard.
He said no traffic advisory had been issued for the public for tomorrow. Akil also stated that the Haryana Police, Central forces and other agencies were coordinating with each other to ensure peace and law and order was maintained. To a query, the official said action will be taken if anybody was found involved in spreading rumours or misinformation on the social media. The All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), the main body spearheading the fresh stir, had announced that they would decide the future course of action on Februray 19.
AIJASS president Yashpal Malik had said, “February 19 would be observed as ‘Balidan Divas’ at different places in the country in memory of those who lost their lives during last year’s agitation.” Meanwhile, a number of followers of self-styled godman Rampal, who is currently in jail, had reportedly thronged the Jat dharna at Jassia village in Rohtak district yesterday to extend their support to the agitating community.
Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, the demands of the Jats include release of those jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir. There is also a demand of action against BJP MP from Kurukshetra constituency Raj Kumar Saini for his alleged anti-Jat rants.
The main opposition INLD has openly come out in support of the agitating Jats and asked the state government to meet their demands. Congress too has asked the Khattar government to fulfil the promises made to the Jats after last year’s stir. During the fresh round of the agitation, the protesters have been staging dharnas for the last three weeks at various places in the state amid elaborate security arrangements. As many as 30 people were killed and property worth crores of rupees was damaged at many places in the state during last year’s Jat stir which had turned violent. Rohtak and some of its neighbouring districts, including Sonipat and Jhajjar, were the worst hit by the violence.