Jat quota agitation continues on a subdued note

Chandigarh: The Jat quota agitation continued in various parts of Haryana for the third day on Tuesday, on a subdued note, with no untoward incident being reported from anywhere in the state.

Like past two days, no big demonstrations were held by the Jat community members on Tuesday as well in many districts, officials said.

In sharp contrast to the first phase of the agitation three months back which was widespread and violent, there has been lukewarm response this time to the dharnas organised by Jat leaders owing allegiance to All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS) at various places like Rohtak, Hisar, Jind and Sonipat.

The agitation in February had left 30 people dead and widespread destruction of government and private property.

 Jat quota agitation continues on a subdued note

Jat community members during their agitation for reservation in Rohtak. AP.

The Manohar Lal Khattar government, which had faced flak over handling of the previous bout of agitation, this time has ensured heavy deployment of state police force along with 55 companies (about 5,500 personnel) of paramilitary personnel drawn from CRPF, ITBP and BSF.

Close vigil is being maintained across the state, including on national highways and railway tracks which the protesters had blocked for several days in February.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 remained in force at sensitive places in eight districts and a special round-the-clock control room has been set up in Chandigarh to monitor the situation.

The police and administration are keeping a close watch on miscreants trying to use the social media to spread rumours.

Jat leaders in Jassia village of Rohtak district, the epicentre of violence during the stir, held a dharna as part of the second round of the agitation which started on a tepid note on Sunday with influential Khap panchayats and some Jat factions distancing themselves from the protests.

Haryana's Sarv Khap Jat Panchayat, which had been at the forefront demanding reservations for Jats in government jobs when the stir was held in February, has this time decided to stay out of the stir, preferring to wait and watch for the outcome of the case before the courts.

However, one prominent Khap from Bhiwani extended its support to the ongoing Jat stir on Tuesday.

The Jat protesters are demanding quota under OBC category, withdrawal of cases registered against community members during the previous stir, status of martyrs for those killed and jobs for their next of kin, besides compensation for the injured.

After the Jat agitation in February, which caused lot of death and destruction, the state government had brought laws to provide 10 percent reservation for Jats and five other communities under a newly carved Backward Classes (C) category.

However, the High Court stayed it, acting on a public interest litigation, after which some Jat groups announced the fresh stir.

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Updated Date: Jun 07, 2016 19:54:26 IST