Amid its worsening stand-off with the Jat community, the state government Tuesday constituted a five-member dialogue committee, but the Jats refused to hold any talks till the government allowed them to stage protests in Panipat and Kaithal districts, where the respective district magistrates have denied them permission for protests on sites demanded by the protesters.
During the same time last year, Jat agitation had spun out of the government’s control and turned violent, resulting in loss of property worth hundreds of crores of rupees and death of 30 people in police-protestors clash.
While the government is relying on the dialogue panel to amicably resolve the issue, the number of protesters on the ground is rising, particularly in Rohtak, the epicentre of the Jat agitation.
All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), the umbrella organisation spearheading the protests demanding reservation for the Jat community, has now announced to hold a commemoration day (Balidan diwas) in the memory of those killed in February 2016 agitation.
“We have refused dialogue with the government till they allow us to hold peaceful protests in Panipat and Kaithal,” AIJASS general secretary Ashok Balhara said.
Yashpal Malik, chief of AIJASS, is continuously addressing rallies across the state. Jats from all areas are reaching the venue to hear Malik speak. Indian National Lok Dal’s senior leader Abhay Chautala, also a Jat, and other INLD leaders have already announced open support to protesters.
“The protesters have again chosen strategic locations to stage their sit-ins. In Rohtak, most of these protests are going on along the NH-71A that connects Rohtak with New Delhi. Such occasions may also be exploited by anti-social elements to disturb communal harmony”, a senior police officer said.