The Jat leaders on Thursday threatened to enter the city and escalate their protests on March 20, triggering alarm among Delhi Police, residents and the government.
The Jat agitation on March 20, sources said, is likely to hit the city harder than it did during their Haryana protests last year.
During the protests that took place in February 2016, Delhi’s water supply had been severely affected for over 15 days as the Jats damaged the Munak Canal in Haryana. The canal, which channels water from north Indian rivers, accounts for about 60% of the city’s water supply.
But this time, things could get even worse as leaders of the community have threatened to block all roads leading to Delhi and stop supply of all essential commodities. Commuters must brace for massive jams, especially those travelling between NCR cities, as major highways could likely be blocked.
The Jats on Thursday also said if their demands went unheard, then they would stop supplying milk to the capital and other northern states like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. In Delhi, leading milk companies like Mother Dairy and Amul procure a major portion of their raw milk from farmers in Haryana.
The Jats have already stopped supplying milk to government agencies in Haryana. Besides, they have also stopped paying water and electricity bills in the city and are refusing to repay loans taken from government banks.
Addressing protesters at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, Yashpal Malik, president of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) said if their demands are not met the Jats in Delhi will also begin a similar non-cooperation movement. “There are around 20 lakh Jats in Delhi. If our demands are not met then all of them will also stop paying their water and power bills in Delhi. Loans to wont be repaid,” he said.
He added that the protests are going on in 20 districts since January 28. “It’s not just water, we are going to disrupt everything. As many as 50 lakh Jats will bring their tractors and cattle to all the highways leading to the national capital,” he said.