Taking their quota stir to Delhi, several thousand Jat community members protested at the Jantar Mantar on Thursday, pressing for reservation in jobs and educational institutions.
The agitating protesters threatened to block essential services to the capital if their demands for reservation are not met. “Life in Delhi will come to a standstill if reservation demands not met,” the Jat leaders warned.
Jats from Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh took part in the demonstration.
They also demanded release of those jailed during last year’s stir, withdrawal of cases slapped against protesters, and government jobs to relatives of those killed and wounded during the protests.
Here are the highlights of the day:
4.30pm: Jat protest comes to an end after they are stopped from marching to the Parliament.
Delhi better be prepared for a bigger protest with tractors and cattle on March 20, Jat leaders warn before ending protest
3.50pm: Police set up barricades at Parliament Street police station in a bid to stop the protestors. They are unlikely to be allowed to march beyond that point.
3.30pm: Protestors begin march towards Parliament House from Jantar Mantar.
3pm: A Jat leader at the protests says that all Jats will bring their tractors, cattle and all belongings to protest at Jantar Mantar on March 20.
2.40 pm: MLA from Bijwasan Devinder Sehrawat joins the protest at Jantar Mantar.
1.50 pm: Jat leaders tell agitators to prepare to march towards Parliament House in a while from now.
1.45 pm: Jat leaders threaten to block supply of essential commodities to Delhi and block roads in the capital if their demands are not met.
1.10 pm: People at the protest venue seen clicking selfies.
1.05 pm: Students of Jat community studying in Delhi University join the protest at Jantar Mantar.
1 pm: The Jat agitators have informed police they will march to Rashtrapati Bhawan. Police say they will be stopped at a point.
12.50 pm: Protestors shout slogans saying “Narendra Modi...Samaaj Virodhi” . Women members of the Jat community liven the atmosphere by singing protest slogans at Jantar Mantar.
12.30 pm: The crowd has now swelled to around 3,500, police officials say. A small group of women seen among the protesters, largely comprising of elderly men. Agitators continue to trickle at the protest venue.
12.24 pm: Protesters at the venue being served refreshments. Meanwhile, group of ex-servicemen, who are protesting adjacent to the Jat agitators at Jantar Mantar, say reservations based on caste should end.
12.02 pm: Within an hour, number of Jat protesters at Jantar Mantar rise from few hundreds to thousands.
12.00 pm: A middle-aged man, who runs a grocery story, explains his reason for participating in the protest.
11.45 am: Protesting site jam-packed with people. The gate for entering Jantar Mantar from Patel Chowk metro station shut. Police say there is little chance that the situation will spin out of control.
11.40 am: Special Commissioners from Delhi Police visit Jantar Mantar to ensure Jat protests are peaceful. Around 600-700 police personnel and paramilitary forces have been stationed at the protesting venue.
11.30 am: Jat leaders allege community members are being stopped from entering the city at the borders of Delhi. However, police denying the accusations.
11.15 am: Protesters display placards at the rally. Hardly any women participants seen, the protest is composed mostly of elderly people. Some of the Jat community members arrive in SUVs at the protesting venue.
11.10 am: Members of the Jat community prepare a hukkah at their protest site.
11.05 am: Jat leaders warn members from misbehaving with journalists at Jantar Mantar.
11 am: About 1,000-1,500 members of the Jat community have so far gathered at Jantar Mantar for the protest.
10.50 am: Over 4,000 police personnel are deployed across the city by Delhi Police to maintain law&order during the rally by Jats.
10.45 am: Leaders of Jat community appeal to their members at Jantar Mantar to ensure their protest is disciplined and peaceful.
10.40 am: Traffic Alert: Sansad Marg closed for traffic in view of the protests by the Jat community at Jantar Mantar
10.30 am: Members of the Jat community have started trickling in to Jantar Mantar. Protest for reservations to begin at 11 am.