ALL INDIA Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) president Yashpal Malik, who is facing sedition charges registered during the 2016 Jat reservation violence, Sunday again announced a ‘Jat andolan’ early next year to press for reservation.
Alongside him on the podium of a massive rally in Jasia, Union Minister for Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh and Haryana’s Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala also attempted to woo the Jats by claiming that they were leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the community gets quota in government jobs and admissions to educational institutes. “We will hold a meeting on December 3 to plan the andolan (agitation) in January-February. If we are not given reservation by then, we will launch the agitation,” Malilk told a responsive crowd that had gathered on a 35-acre plot meant for setting up of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram Institute for Competitive Exams and Skill Development by AIJASS. The proposed institute will train youths to get into professional courses and government jobs and also imparting skill development training to unemployed youths. The construction will commence on December 3.
Malik announced that no state minister would be allowed to enter any village in the state after February if the Jats were not given reservation by then.
“Agar Jat ek baari apne ghar se nikal liya toh usko rokne ki himmat kisi mein nahi hai (If Jats hit the streets to protest, nobody has the courage to stop them),” Malik said. A large number of people had reached the venue despite the suspension of mobile and Internet services in nearly 11 districts of the state.
After violence rocked the state during the Jat quota stir lats year, leaving 30 persons dead, the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, in March last year, had unanimously passed a Bill on reservation for persons belonging to the state’s backward classes including Jats. However, acting on a PIL filed by a Bhiwani resident Murari Lal Gupta, the High Court had ordered a stay on the Haryana government’s notification on 10 per cent reservation for Jats and six other communities including Jat Sikhs, Tyagis, Rors, Gujjars, Bishnois and Mulla Jats or Muslim Jats.
The stay continues till date and the Haryana government has been asked to compile data on several communities in Haryana and submit a report to the Haryana Backward Classes Commission by December 31.
Trinamool Congress Party’s Punjab chief Jagmeet Singh Brar and several prominent Jat personalities including Mahavir Singh Phogat, father of Phogat sisters (wrestlers), shooter Parkashi Tomar, apart from leaders from Rajasthan and Gujarat, too shared stage with Malik.
Addressing the rally, Chautala gave an ultimatum to the Haryana government. “If you [the government] want peace in the state, bring a bill in forthcoming session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha. All dharnas will be lifted.”
Chautala added that if Indian National Lok Dal forms the next government in Haryana, he shall ensure that all “innocent youths”, who were booked on sedition charges during 2016 Jat reservation violence would be set free.
“During 2016 agitation, Jats were holding peaceful protests but places were set on fire in Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar. After that, the Haryana Chief Minister (Manohar Lal Khattar) made several promises to various Jat leaders in a number of meetings, but had gone back on all his promises”, Chautala said.
“Some farmers in Haryana have only 1.5 acres of land. Is it enough to sustain themselves? How will they survive?” he asked.
Referring to Birender Singh who was sitting on the same stage, Chautala said, “I hope that Chaudhary Birender Singh will deliver justice to Jats.”
Birender Singh announced that steel woudl be provided for the building of the institute and gave an assurance that he will ensure that the Jat community gets reservation.
“Agar Chautala [Abhay Singh Chautala] kehta hai ke aarakshan le ke rahenge to Ch Birender kehta hai ke aarakshan de ke rahenge (If Chautala says he will force the government to give reservation to Jats, Ch Birender says he will give reservation),” he said responding to Chautala’s remarks.
After Chautala, Birender Singh addressed the rally and said, “Jab Birender bolta hai to sarkar sunti hai (When Birender speaks, the government listens)”.
Later, talking to mediapersons, Chautala took on Birender Singh and said, “He [Birender Singh] is part of the Prime Minister’s cabinet. He was a main player in getting the stand-off between Haryana government and Jat organisation resolved at the time of agitation. Yet he was not able to do anything. Now he is raising it from the stage of this rally because they [BJP] have Gujarat elections in mind. Jat reservation is becoming an issue there, too.”
Earlier, Jagmeet Brar also addressed the rally and announced that the Jats from Punjab supported the agitation launched by Haryana farmers and announced Rs 5-lakh grant for the institute. Chautala too announced a financial support of Rs 1 crore for the institute. The announcements were part of the seven resolutions revealed by the AIJASS on the occasion of the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the institute.