Should Jats be given reservation?
They were given reservation during the B S Hooda regime, it was cancelled after a writ was filed. It has been our demand that they should not be included in the 27% OBC quota; if reservation is to be given, then Baniyas, Punjabis, Rajputs and Brahmins too should be included. You are talking only of reservation for Jat, Tyagi, Jat Sikh, Ror and Bishnoi. The Jats are very well off, whether economically or if we look at their landholdings or in jobs. If the Jats are given reservation within the 27%, there will a big agitation by the backward classes, which will be non-violent. The Jats are trying to use force to get reservation. This is complete anarchy. Some videos have gone viral, they can be seen indulging in loot.
None of their properties were burnt. Their target was to damage property of the 35 castes. The government and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar have made it clear that reservation will not be given from the 27%. They should not be given reservation. In the last 10 years, we have been given only two government jobs. Look at them, how many jobs they have got in the last 10 years. In Rohtak only one caste was dominant. With the former chief minister being from there, he was taking care of them.
The Jats are saying they are not as prosperous as they used to be.
This is right. Earlier there was more land and now it has reduced. When our children increase in number, shares will decline. Look at the backward communities. We barely had any land… We worked hard, earned money and increased our property. The government has not given it to us. They [Jats] are throwing their earnings away on drugs. We did not teach them to use drugs. If they are selling property to build houses, how is the government responsible for this? They are spending money on luxuries.
Do you feel the violence is a failure of the administration to control protesters?
The administration is responsible for what happened. In Kalayat, Jats made an announcement that whoever had any kind of weapons should come forward. The report went to intelligence… Those people blocked all our roads. That is when the situation got tense… In front of the Army, these people rioted, set property on fire. The police and administration are responsible for what happened. These people were supporting the movement. We acted in self-defence. After we asked officials to remove the blockade and they did not, we had to come out of our houses and act.
Do you see political involvement in the agitation?
The Congress has always supported only the Jats. They gave them reservation. When earlier protests took place, Rohtak, Sonipat and Jhajjar never witnessed road blockades. Now when the protest happened in Mayar, Chief Minister Khattar ended it through talks. In Hooda’s area, where there were Jats, the situation turned tense. During Hooda’s tenure, no case was registered against Jats who held protests.
What is your demand of the government?
We want recovery for damage to public property from the protesters. Secondly, when someone comes to loot our houses and police shoot them and later a demand for compensation is raised, it is wrong. The government is planning to give them Rs 10 lakh. When they were looting shops and Army or BSF fired at them and the person who was looting dies, how can there be talks of giving jobs and compensation? Some politicians are talking about giving them Rs 25 lakh. Why should this be given?