Haryana minister Minister Ram Bilas Sharma who held talks with agitating leaders of the Jat community on Thursday claimed that both sides had reached an agreement and indicated that the deadlock may end on Friday. “We held talks with them (the Jat leaders), which were held in a cordial atmosphere. The talks were positive and we have arrived at an agreement. Tomorrow, a formal announcement will be made,” Sharma said, emerging after a long meeting with Jat community leaders. He however did not divulge details of what demands of the community would be met. “Jats are part of our big family and we have convinced them,” the minister said. The All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS) led by Yashpal Malik is spearheading the agitation in the State, which entered its 47th day on Thursday.
Malik also said that talks remained “positive”. “Tomorrow, we will be meeting Chief Minister (Manohar Lal Khattar) in Delhi,” Malik said. About the talks held on Thursday, Malik said, “We put all our demands before them and government also gave its point of view. Tomorrow, when we meet the Chief Minister, we will make a formal announcement (take a final decision on the ongoing stir)”.
Asked about community leaders’ threat to lay siege to the national capital next week, Malik said, “regarding this too, we will make our stance clear tomorrow in Delhi”. Besides seeking quota, the demands of the Jats include release of those jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir.
Chief Minister Khattar on Wednesday had formed a three-member panel and invited the community leaders for a fresh round of talks at Panipat. Besides Sharma, the other two members of the panel were Krishan Bedi, a state minster, and Kamal Gupta, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary who is an MLA from Hisar. Last month, talks between the protesters and a five-member committee, which included the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) of the state, had remained inconclusive.
Earlier this month, AIJASS had announced that it would lay siege to the national capital from March 20 if their demands for reservation in government jobs and education institutes are not met. Jat community members have been sitting on dharna in various parts of Haryana since January 29 over their demands.
Besides seeking quota, their demands include release of those jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir. During the stir in February last year, 30 people were killed and property worth crores of rupees was damaged.