Jats, agitating for quota, on Sunday announced that they will not march towards Delhi on Monday as planned, a decision that came as a relief to the national capital which was bracing for trouble. The leader of the jat agitation, after a four-hour meeting with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at New Delhi, said the demands of the community had been met and therefore the stir will end. Two Union Ministers Birender Singh and P P Chaudhary, both jats themselves, were also present during the deliberations.
After the announcement, the authorities in Delhi, which was on tenterhooks, eased restrictions which were proposed to be put in the capital on Monday. Delhi Metro said its services will now run normally except for curbs on exit at certain stations close to Parliament.
However, there was violence in Fatehabad in Haryana on Sunday when jat agitators were stopped by police from moving towards Delhi. At least 35 people, including an SP, a DSP and 16 other policemen, were injured in the clashes.
Khattar, while addressing a press conference after the truce deal, promised “full justice” to the jats as described their demands as “genuine”.
He said the Centre will soon initiate the process of providing the reservation while at the state level, an early action will be initiated as soon as a decision comes from the High Court before which the matter is pending.
Regarding other demands, he said the state government will “re-assess” the cases registered betweeen 2010 and 2017 against the Jat protesters, the next of kin of those killed and handicapped during those protests will be given permanent jobs and the role of officers will be probed so that strict action can be taken against the guilty.
All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) Chairperson Yashpal Malik, leader of the agitation seated besides Khattar, said, “We have called off our agitation and march towards Delhi. The state government has agreed to our demands…. The ‘march to Delhi’ planned for tomorrow has been postponed and therefore jats will not come to Delhi tomorrow.”
He said the jats have “full trust on the intentions” of the government.
However, he added, that ‘dharnas’ will continue at some places in Haryana “as we have to inform them about today’s decision and it will take 5-6 days. By March 26, we will do it… At some places, dharna will take place in a symbolic way till our demands are met or any new decision is taken. These dharnas will be attended only by our committee members.”
The Jats have been sitting on dharna in various parts of Haryana since January 29.
The Haryana Chief Minister appealed to people in the state to cooperate in maintaining peace and harmony.
Around 30 people were killed and more than 300 people injured when a similar agitation by the Jats had resulted in large-scale violence in Haryana in February last year.
In view of the planned march tomorrow, prohibitory orders had been clamped in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to stop the Jat protesters from entering Delhi.
About 24,700 paramilitary personnel had been mobilised to maintain peace. Metro and road transport has been curtailed and several schools have been closed in the national capital.
Besides quotas, the Jats have been demanding release of people jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protests and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir.