Jats Prepare Commandos for Capital Quota War
By Harpreet Bajwa | Published: 29th August 2015 10:00 PM |
The newly-floated Jat Yuva Sena in Haryana is training volunteers—whom it calls ‘Jat Commandos’—for the September 28 agitation in Delhi seeking reservation for the caste. The Sarv Jat Khap Mahapanchayat, the highest khap panchayat, aims to recruit one lakh of these ‘commandos’ to lay seige to the national capital. The commandos are being trained in self-defence, lathi-wielding and other unarmed combat tactics.
“Our aim is to recruit more than one lakh volunteers as Jat commandos and train them for the agitation. Recruitment has started across the state. Youth are approaching us through phone numbers given, social media like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, and also by word of mouth,’’ Pawanjeet Banwala, national president of Akhil Bhartiya Adarsh Jat Mahasabha, told The Sunday Standard.
“We have formed an eleven-member committee of ex-servicemen headed by a retired colonel who will train these youth in self-defence, how to use lathis and other tactics of unarmed combat,” Banwala said.
The volunteers are required to sign a declaration stating that they will not indulge in any anti-national activity, not harm anyone and will not get provoked and attack anyone. They will use their training only for self-defence.
Volunteers at a recruitment centre in Kaithal were given black uniforms and were administered an oath that they will make any sacrifice for the cause of the community. They have a vigorous daily schedule. “They are trained for eight hours per day. Besides training in combat, they are made to undergo a strict physical workout, from exercise to physical training to cross-country runs,’’ said Banwala.
Sube Singh Samain, national spokesperson of the Sarv Jat Khap Mahapanchayat, said, “The BJP government has taken away the share of reservation from Jats, and thus we will gherao Delhi if a decision is not taken in their support.’’
At a recent joint meeting of the Sarv Khap Panchayat and the All-India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, it was decided to raise a Jat Sena (army) for their stir on September 28 when they plan to cut off supply of essential commodities such as water, milk and vegetables to Delhi. They also intend to block roads and railway tracks and disrupt power and gas supply.
Jats had resorted to similar agitation during the Commonwealth Games in the capital in 2010.
Yuva Jat Sangarsh Samiti president Ishwar Singh said, “These commandos will be our first line of defence. They will act only if the OBC brigade floated by BJP MP from Kurukshetra, Rajkumar Saini, or any government agency tries to use force on us.’’
The state has been divided into three zones—Rohtak, Panipat and Hisar—for recruiting youth in the Jat Sena.
Jats are upset after the Supreme Court withdrew the Other Backward Caste (OBC) status to them on March 17. The government had accorded the OBC status to them in March 2014. Interestingly, after the apex court order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also rejected their appeal.
The agitation will be launched on September 13 from Mayyar in Hisar, demanding reservation. The day is observed as Shahidi Divas by Akhil Bhartiya Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti in homage to Suneel Sheoran, who was killed during a police lathi-charge in Mayyar.
FIGHT FOR STATUS
■ Recruitment is being done via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and by word of mouth
■ A retired colonel is training the ‘Jat commandos’
■ For the seige of Delhi, they will cut off supply of essential commodities and will block roads and rail
■ The agitation is to demand OBC status for Jats