The talks between the Jat agitators and the panel formed by the Haryana government remained inconclusive in Panipat Saturday with agitators announcing to continue their dharnas across the state. After the meeting, All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarash Samiti (AIJSS) Yashpal Malik said they had conveyed their seven demands to the panel, which would pass the same to the government. The AIJSS claimed the government panel had sought 2-3 days to “fulfill” their demands.
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“Its upon the government to fix the next meeting. Our dharnas will continue till the government accepts our demands,” said Malik, who was leading a delegation of 150 Jat leaders.
However, the Jat leader said they were satisfied with the meeting and response of the officers. “We did not have food or tea during the meeting, but it was held in good atmosphere,” Malik said, indicating that they don’t want any facilities offered by the government.
The meeting of agitators with the panel led by state’s chief secretary DS Dhesi comes 13 days after their stir began. At the meeting, Jat leaders pressed their demand of “aam maffi (general amnesty)” for all those booked in connection with the February 2016 quota stir violence. Sources say the government seems ready to withdraw the cases lodged under minor offences and give regular jobs to next of kin of those who died during the violence. But an immediate compromise between the agitators and the government was not apparent even before the start of the meeting, keeping in view the nature of the demands of protesters whose support is growing with each passing day.
The agitators are also demanding quota benefit in central and state government jobs, apart from action against BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini for his “objectionable comments against Jats”.
Meanwhile, Malik, who had given a call to vote against BJP in Uttar Pradesh polls, said: “Even I had gone to vote to teach a lesson to BJP.” Malik hails from a village in western UP, where Jat-dominated districts went to polls on Saturday. A few more areas in UP, where Jats have considerable presence, are still to go to polls.
Protester dies of heart attack in Jind village
Sixty-two-year-old protester Karan Singh died of heart attack at a dharna venue in Jind village on Saturday. The agitators have announced to observe condolence meetings at all the dharnas on Sunday.
Meanwhile, dharnas by Jat agitators continued in 19 districts of the state on Saturday, the 14th day of their stir. A group of protesters, including youths and women in tractors, passed through Rohtak town on Saturday despite the prohibitory orders of the administration under section 144 of CrPC. They were going to the dharna venue in Jassia village of Rohtak.