NEW DELHI: Demanding quota in education and jobs, thousands of Jats from northern states including Haryana today gathered at the Jantar Mantar here and threatened to block major highways leading to the national capital.
They said they would also stage a gherao of the Parliament building during their 'Delhi Kooch' (march to Delhi).
Accusing the BJP-led governments at the Centre and Haryana of being "insensitive" to their demand of reservation under OBC category, president of Akhli Bhartiya Jat Arakashan Sangharsh Samiti Yashpal Malik said that it was necessary to take a "big decision to wake the government up from its slumber".
"On March 20, all the Jats riding their tractors and small vehicles and carrying at least 10-day ration will march towards Delhi on the highways from the neighbouring states," he said. If stopped by the police during their 'Delhi Kooch', the Jats would lay siege and block all the major highways leading to the national capital.
Watch video of the protest below:
The Jats will camp at the borders of Delhi, and later hold a gherao of the Parliament, Malik said. Thousands of Jats from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand and also from the city, in their vehicles, trouped towards the Jantar Mantar for 'Jat Nyay Dharna', disrupting traffic in New Delhi area and border points.
The dharna, led by Malik and other Sangharsh Samiti leaders, culminated in a march towards Parliament which forced the Delhi Traffic Police to close the Parliament Street.
Heavy traffic was witnessed on several roads including Ashoka Road.
The Sangharsh Samiti leaders also submitted their seven-point charter of demands at the offices of the President and the Prime Minister.
Later, the protesters courted arrested at the Parliament Street police station and insisted that the numbers of those arrest be given in writing.
They dispersed after a police officer announced that a total of 50,000 Jat protestors have courted arrest.
Malik said that Jats were prepared to continue with their struggle for an indefinite period.
"We are prepared for an indefinite struggle no matter it takes 10 days or ten years," he said.
Asserting that "Delhi Kooch" will be peaceful, he said if they would be stopped from entering Delhi, then around "20 lakh" local Jats will join them in their proposed protest and gherao.
Speaking on the occasion, Jat leaders and office bearers from UP, Punjab, Rajasthan gave a call of unity and pledged their support to Sangarsh Samiti and Malik.
Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, Jats are demanding the release of those jailed during last year's stir, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the agitation.
As many as 30 people were killed and property worth crores was damaged at many places in Haryana during last year's violent Jat stir.