Jat quota stir: Haryana govt forms five-member panel to address grievances

Chandigarh: With the ongoing Jat stir entering its tenth day and the community adamant on its demands, the Haryana government on Tuesday constituted a five-member committee headed by Chief Secretary DS Dhesi to resolve the problems of those agitating for reservation and other issues in the state.

"Any organization, section of the society or an individual could submit their viewpoint and suggestions to the committee in writing or orally. The committee will try its best to resolve their issues under the ambit of the Constitution and different decisions and directions given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard," an official spokesman said in Chandigarh.

He said that the state government is in favour of resolving the problems of the people under the provisions of the Constitution.

Four other members of the Committee are Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas, Principal Secretary, Industries, Devender Singh, Secretary, General Administration, Vijayendra Kumar and Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Mohammad Akil.

Meanwhile, in view of the ongoing Jat reservation agitation, the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) Tohana, today directed the Executive Officer, Municipal Council to hold a meeting with all JCB machine (a large machine used for digging and other purposes) operators and warn them that in case their JCBs are used to uproot trees or dig roads, they would invite stern action and their vehicles would be impounded.

During last year's stir, the protesters had used trees and tree branches to block several roads.

File photo of a previous stir by the Jat community. PTI

File photo of a previous stir by the Jat community. PTI

The SDM, who was presiding over a meeting with officers in Tohana, also directed them to ensure proper coordination and remain alert to deal with any eventuality.

While reviewing the activities of Transport Department, he directed the officers not to allow night halt of buses in villages till the agitation continues.

During the fresh round of Jat agitation, the protesters have been sitting on 'dharnas' at various places in the state.

Amid elaborate security arrangements, the Jats held sit-ins at several areas in the state, which remained peaceful, officials said.

The call for the fresh stir has been given by some Jat outfits, especially those owing allegiance to All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti headed by Yashpal Malik.

At some places, the Khap panchayats or caste councils are also backing the dharnas.

Haryana's main Opposition party INLD has openly come out in support of the agitating Jats and asked the government to meet their demands.

Yashpal Malik has maintained that the Jats were willing to wait for reservation since the matter was sub-judice, but they wanted all other demands to be accepted immediately.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had earlier said the government accepted the demand of the Jats to give job to the next of kin of those who had lost their lives in the agitation last year.

In the fresh round of the Jat stir, paramilitary forces have been deployed in sensitive areas in Haryana while state police personnel, in large numbers, are maintaining strict vigil.

Security has been further strengthened in many sensitive districts and at the Rohtak residences of Haryana Finance Minister Abhimanyu and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the officials said.

Arsonists had set Abhimanyu's Rohtak house on fire during last year stir, in which 30 people had died and property was damaged. However, this time the state has been put on maximum alert, the officials said.

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.

Malik has said that 19 February would be observed as 'Balidan Divas' in memory of all those who lost their lives in last year.

Over the past few days, the number of protesters at various dharna sites, especially in sensitive districts, had been going up.

Apart from the reservation for Jats, demands include release of arrested youths from jails, withdrawal of cases during last year's agitation and government jobs to the kin of youths killed and those injured during the earlier stir.

Their demands also include action against BJP MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini over his alleged anti-Jat rants.

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Updated Date: Feb 07, 2017 19:31:02 IST

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