Bringing huge relief to Delhi’s commuters the Jat community has decided to postpone their Monday’s protest for 15 days. Jat protesters had called for a Delhi siege and protests outside the Parliament demanding reservation for their community in jobs and educational institutions. Elaborate security arrangements were made for the agitation beforehand. However, after a meeting with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the protesters suspended their agitation.
“It is not an issue of arm twisting. We had already agreed that there should be reservation in Haryana for the Jat community and four other communities. We have completed our work. The issue is pending in High Court. In the Centre, the issue is pending. We will complete that also. During the agitation last year, there were some incidents of violence. We have assured that the cases will be relooked. Broadly, the Jat community should get justice…we have decided on this. I feel that for giving justice these things had to be done by the government and we have done it,” said chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar
After the meeting, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the quota process will begin at the centre once the chairman of backward class is elected. Jats have been on a sit in protest and stir for around 50 days at Jantar Mantar and the protest was expected to take the shape of an agitation on Monday. However, a day before the mass protests, some Jat agitators turned violent in Haryana’s Fatehabad district and pelted stones on policemen. They also set two buses on fire and injured several policemen in the process including DSP Gurdyal Singh.
About the incident of violence at Fatehabad, the chief minister said ,”We have received preliminary information of the incident. An enquiry will be conducted. Action will be taken against anyone found guilty. When there is a big agitation, some big and small incidents do take place. We have taken care of this incident and will ensure that what happened in Fatehabad is not repeated anywhere.Everyone knows about what happened last time. When an incident takes place, instead of looking back there is a need to analyse it and then look forward.”
Calling off the march towards Delhi All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) Chairperson Yashpal Malik during the press conference said, “We have reached a consensus with Union Ministers Chaudhary Birender Singh and PP Chaudhary and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Haryana minister Krishan Bedi on five-demands”.
Though the protest has been postponed, Delhi police has decided to shut down key routes as a precautionary measure. Previously, all metro services to and from Noida and Gurgaon to Delhi were expected to remain shut from Sunday night. However, with the protests being postponed the Delhi metro services has decided to keep trains running as usual.
Representatives of the community who are leading the protests are demanding reservations for Jats in government jobs. Their demands also include jobs for the kin of Jats killed in violence in the protests of 2016. The agitations last year turned violent and lots of members of the community were charged with criminal cases. As many as 30 people were killed and nearly 200 injured. Jats are demanding that the cases be taken back.
The latest round of protests had started when negotiations between the Haryana government and the Jat leaders regarding withdrawal of pending charges regarding previous year’s protests reached a roadblock.
Urging people to maintain peace, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that “I would like to appeal to public, to people of Haryana, to youth through the media that they should co-operate to maintain peace and harmony in the state and appeal to mediapersons to have your job in favour of in welfare of nation and country and the state and the people.”
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