More than 4,000 members of the Jat community attempted to storm the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee office on Wednesday afternoon but were prevented by the police. The protesters were demanding OBC status for reservation in government jobs.
The Jat Mahasabha, which is spearheading the protest, threatened to use all means to disrupt the sporting extravaganza.
Clad in white kurta pyjama, turbans and wielding lathis, most of them came out in large numbers on the roads, disrupting traffic in Connaught Place and nearby areas for some time in the evening.
Taking lessons from the farmer's rally earlier this year in which the protesters went on a rampage in Connaught Place and nearby areas, the police did not give the Jat members permission to march from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar.
A posse of 800 policemen had been deployed in and around the protest venues to prevent any untoward incident.
“We made all the arrangements and blocked their exit from all sides. We had information they could storm the Commonwealth Games office so we had cordoned off the area. Even 10, Janpath (residence of United Progressive Alliance chairperson) was cordoned off and we did not let them move from Jantar Mantar,” said Shankar Dash, additional commissioner of police (New Delhi).
The protesters who had earlier stopped water supply to Delhi had threatened to disrupt Commonwealth Games if their demands for reservation in central services were not met.
They marched towards the Games headquarters from their protest site few hundred metres away at Jantar Mantar. However, a large number of police personnel stopped the protesters.
"They had sought permission to march from Ramila Maidan via the Ranjeet Singh flyover to Jantar Mantar. However, we had learnt our lesson from farmer's rally earlier this year so the permission was denied. They took buses and other vehicles to reach Jantar Mantar," said a senior police officer. The protesters had come from nearby states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.