Jat quota stir in Haryana enters second day, protests remain peaceful
The members of Jat community in Haryana continued their agitation in 18 districts of the state seeking reservation in government jobs and other demands.
Chandigarh: The members of Jat community in Haryana on Monday continued their agitation in 18 districts of the state seeking reservation in government jobs and other demands.
Amid elaborate security arrangements, the Jats held dharnas at several locations, which remained peaceful, officials said.
"The dharnas remained peaceful in 18 districts," All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) president Yashpal Malik told PTI over phone, adding from 3 February the Jats will hold dharnas in Delhi in support of those agitating in Haryana.
"On February 3, we will begin with a dharna at Narela and then on the following days dharnas will be held in 11 districts of Delhi every day," he said.
The call for the fresh stir has been given by some Jat outfits, especially those owing allegiance to AIJASS.
Since Sunday, the members of Jat community have been staging peaceful dharnas at Ramayan village near Hisar-Bhiwani railway track, Jolilath village on Sonipat-Gohana road, Jassia village on Rohtak highway, Rasalwala Chowk in Jhajjar, Umrakheri village near Panipat-Shamli road, Bala village near Assandh road in Karnal and at some other places.
From Monday, the agitation will begin in a couple of more districts, Malik said.
Internet services have been suspended in the vicinity of dharna sites to check spread of rumours. Authorities have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC in some areas of the sensitive districts, banning gathering of five or more people.
Paramilitary forces are out in sensitive areas while heavy police force has been deployed to maintain strict vigil. The central forces have conducted flag marches in some sensitive areas, officials said.
During a similar stir a year ago, there were 30 deaths and widespread destruction of property. This time, Haryana has been put on maximum alert, officials said.
All the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police have been directed to ensure that highways and railway tracks are not obstructed and no damage is caused to property, they said.
The state government has warned agitators against taking law in their hands.
"People can protest peacefully, but if anyone takes law in one's hands, then strict action will be taken," a senior official said in Chandigarh.
Rapid Action Force has been deployed at Munak canal in Sonipat district to ensure uninterrupted water supply to the national capital. The agitators had damaged the canal during last year's stir.
Meanwhile, in Hisar, the dharna by Jats near Ramayan village was addressed by various leaders of the community on the second day of the agitation amid elaborate security arrangements.
Ram Bhagat Malik, spokesperson of AIJASS claimed that the dharna would continue in a peaceful manner.
While addressing a gathering, the leaders said those Jat or Khap leaders "who betrayed the community by siding with the government this time also, will have to face the consequences. The community will teach them a lesson. They have been trying to weaken the agitation".
Notably, Rohtak and some of its neighbouring districts, including Sonipat and Jhajjar had been worst-hit by the violence which broke out during last year's Jat stir.
Apart from the quota demand, the agitators are demanding release of arrested Jat youths from jails, withdrawal of cases registered during last year's agitation and grant of government jobs to the kin of youths killed and those injured during last year’s stir.
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