AN UNEASY calm prevailed in Rohtak as the hub of the protest — near Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU) — was taken over by the elderly Sunday. Youngsters who were swarming the stretch from Delhi bypass to MDU for the past few days were missing. The Army personnel resorted to firing in the air to disperse some protesters, apparently non-Jats, who had gathered in a market. Police rounded up some 15 persons.
Over the past few days, it were mostly students from MDU and adjoining colleges — carrying sharp weapons, metal rods and wooden stumps — protesting on the half-km stretch from Delhi bypass to the university. No vehicles were allowed on the stretch.
On Sunday, however, elders from adjoining villages assembled in a tent opposite gate number 2 even as curfew continued to be in place.
Reports said elders from different villages had made announcements that no youngster will be allowed to venture out to protest.
Addressing the gathering, they made an appeal to maintain peace, while also declaring that the protests will continue till Jats were given reservation.
The leaders said the Jats were being wrongly blamed for destroying property, when they had not looted any shops. A one-minute silence for those killed during the agitation was observed.
“We want that the government should call an emergency session of the Vidhan Sabha and pass the Bill. Assurances have been given earlier as well. The government has demanded time. There is no guarantee that if we stop the protest, the government will not go back on its word,” said one of the protesters.
The protesters are also demanding that compensation be given to the families of those who died and one person in each family be given a government job. While the Jats were protesting in a peaceful manner Sunday, Punjabis also started protesting. The Army, however, resorted to firing in the air when the protesters turned violent. In the past few days, clashes have also been witnessed among different castes.