Jats call off Delhi march after talks with Centre, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

Haryana CM says Jat quota process at Centre to begin after appointment of NCBC chief & members

Written by SUKHBIR SIWACH | Chandigarh | Updated: March 20, 2017 8:43:42 am
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Union Ministers Ch Birender Singh and PP Chaudhary with Jat leader Yashpal Malik at the press conference, in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI

Jat agitators demanding a job quota at the Centre and in Haryana have said they will not roll into Delhi on their tractor-trolleys to surround Parliament on Monday. The announcement was made by the All India Jat Arakashan Sangharash Samiti, the protest spearhead, after talks with central ministers and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Yashpal Malik, who leads the Sangharsh Samiti, said: “Jat agitators will not go to Delhi on Monday. The Delhi police don’t need to harass anybody.” From the government’s side, Khattar announced after the talks that “the Jat reservation process at the Centre will begin after the appointment of the chairman and members of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).”

The talks took place among Jat leaders, including Malik, Chief Minister Khattar and Union ministers Birender Singh and P P Chaudhary in New Delhi. The Jats have been protesting across Haryana since January 29, demanding the job quota and withdrawal of cases lodged against them in connection with violence on February 2016 that was also related to the reservation demand.

Khattar said: “We always said that we shall give reservation to Jats and four other castes…. It’s not an issue of arm-twisting. We had already agreed there should be reservations in Haryana for the Jat community. We have completed our work. Now, the issue is pending in (Punjab and Haryana) high court. At the Centre, the issue is pending. We will complete that also.” About the cases lodged against the Jat protesters, Khattar said: “We have assured (them) that the cases will be relooked into. Broadly, the Jat community should get justice. We have decided on this.”

Malik announced that the Delhi Kooch — the name for the march to the capital — has been “suspended” after “agreement with the Haryana government.” “Many dharnas will be lifted immediately. Only symbolic dharnas will be held at a few places for the next few days. I will go to all dharnas to tell them about the outcome of our compromise with the government.”

Protests are being held in 20 of Haryana’s 22 districts. In some districts more than one dharna is on. “These extra dharnas will be lifted now,” Malik said. “One dharna will be held in each district till March 26. The state executive will take a call on the protests on March 26,” he added.

Soon after the announcement of the Delhi march, the Haryana administration resumed mobile Internet services in many towns. The services were stopped on Friday in view the Delhi march. Prohibitory orders were in place almost all across Haryana.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had suspended service to and from all stations outside the national capital from Sunday night. Soon after the withdrawal of the march, Delhi Metro announced its services would be normal on Monday, but for restrictions on exits at certain stations.

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