Despite an invitation by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to come for talks, Jat protesters seeking reservation in government jobs escalated their agitation on Wednesday mainly in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonepat and Jind districts.
Various Jat leaders were scheduled to meet the Chief Minister at his residence today at 1:00 pm. The state government today issued the terms of reference for the four-member committee headed by Chief Secretary to study the reservation aspects and submit a report by March 31.
Rohtak is the worst affected among all districts. After the protest entered the fourth day, non-availability of fuel at many petrol pumps in Rohtak was observed. As most of the roads connecting Rohtak have been blocked by the Jat protesters, school buses were seen stranded in traffic jams and students had to return to their homes. A large number of trucks carrying vegetables and milk to Delhi have failed to move out of Rohtak because of road blockage.
Students of Maharishi Dayanand University in Rohtak also protested by putting locks on the main gates of the university and blocking the Rohtak-Delhi National Highway No. 10. Sonepat bypass and the Jhajjar-Delhi highway also remain blocked by the protestors since morning.
Mahender Punia, general secretary of the Jat Aarakshan Samiti, today said that protests would continue and they would also block rail traffic including at Bamla in Rohtak and Mayyar in Hisar. The movement of at least 120 passenger as well as goods trains have been affected on the Rohtak-Delhi, Rohtak-Jind and Rohtak-Panipat routes. Haryana police personnel have cordoned off some of the protest sites. Despite registration of FIRs against Jat protestors in Rohtak, Jhajjar and Jind districts, road and rail traffic continue to be blocked.
The Haryana government has issued orders for constituting a four-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary DS Dhesi to study all aspects of the issue.
As per government orders, “The committee will also consider the status in this regard in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan and deliberate on the possibilities of exploring the available (50-47=3%) quota, enabling reservation in central jobs on the basis of Special Backward Class status despite pendency of the court cases and of extending the twin benefits of admission and employment in the state through revision of Economically Backward Person (EBP) quotas.”