The Jats in Haryana will continue their protest as they have turned down Haryana government’s plea for a meeting for holding fresh parleys. The Jats have been protesting for the past 20 days to demand reservation in education and government jobs among other things.
“We have turned down the fresh appeal of ADGP (law and order) Mohammad Akil for holding parleys…the next course of action and shape of agitation will be decided on February 19,” Yashpal Malik, president of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is spearheading the agitation, told PTI.
A 50-member committee of the AIJASS met in Jassia in Rohtak on Friday to conclude that the Jat protest will continue in a “peaceful manner”, Malik explained.
But the Jat leader slammed Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for not taking the Jat stir “seriously”.
“The CM is not making efforts for a meeting with the community members,” he alleged.
The BJP government in the state had last week formed a five-member committee, headed by Chief Secretary D S Dhesi, to hold talks with the agitating Jats, but their meeting remained inconclusive.
Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, the demands of the Jats include the 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.
There is also a demand of action against BJP MP from Kurukshetra constituency Raj Kumar Saini for his alleged anti-Jat rants.
The main opposition party in Haryana, the INLD, has openly come out in support of the agitating Jats this time and asked the government to meet their demands.
February 19 would be observed as ‘Balidan Divas’ at different places in the country in the memory of those who lost their lives during last year’s agitation, Malik said.
During the fresh round of agitation, the protesters have been staging dharnas at various places in the state amid elaborate security arrangements by the state police force. Paramilitary forces have also been deployed in sensitive areas.
As many as 30 people were killed and property worth crores of rupees was damaged at many places in Haryana during last year’s Jat stir which had turned violent. Rohtak and some of its neighbouring districts, including Sonipat and Jhajjar, were the worst hit by the violence last year.
(With inputs from PTI)