NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: Governments at the Centre, Haryana and Delhi heaved a huge sigh of relief as the Jats called off their quota agitation scheduled for Monday in Delhi.
The decision of the Jat leaders came after a four-hour-long meeting on Sunday with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and two Union ministers — Birender Singh and P P Chaudhary — both Jats, in New Delhi.
Keeping in mind the large-scale protests on Monday, prohibitory orders were earlier clamped in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to stop the Jat protesters from entering the national capital. About 24,700 paramilitary personnel were mobilised to maintain peace. Several schools were closed in New Delhi.
Emerging from the meeting in the evening, Khattar said, “Both the Centre and the State will soon begin the process of giving reservation, following the Delhi High court order.”
Earlier in the day, clashes erupted between the protestors and the State police near Fatehabad in Haryana with the agitators trying to march towards Delhi after a call given by the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) to gherao Parliament.
The clashes began when the Jats, moving in tractor-trolleys, were stopped by DSP Gurdayal Singh. When the agitators were told to leave their weapons behind, a young protestor threw a wooden log at Singh, injuring him. Following this, the police resorted to lathi-charge and used tear gas, while the protestors pelted stones, leaving around 25 people injured in the incident.
In a matter of minutes, close to 20 tractor-trolleys full of protestors reached the spot and the situation spiralled out of control with the agitators setting fire to police buses. Security has been beefed up in Jhajjhar following the clashes.
Subsequently, the Jats postponed their plan to gherao Parliament on Monday. AIJASS president Yashpal Malik told Express, “We have decided to postpone the agitation to gherao Parliament on March 20, after the assurance by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to fulfill all of our demands. I will visit all the dharna sites in Haryana and talk to the agitators and then on March 26 we will have our executive body meeting in which we will take the final decision. As of now, dharnas will be curtailed but not fully lifted.”
“When the Punjab and Haryana High Court decides the case, the Jats will be included in the reservation list under Schedule 9 of the Constitution. All the cases registered against the protesters during the agitation last year will be reviewed by the State government. Jobs will be given to the kin of the dead and those who were disabled,” said Khattar.