Reinforcing their long-standing demand for 27% reservation under the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota, the members of the state’s Jat community upped the ante against the Centre on Sunday.
Jat Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti (Jass), a body that has been pressing for the reservation, issued an ultimatum to the central government threatening that if they are not accorded the full OBC status by August 15, they would launch a massive stir that would see the national Capital being cut off from its neighbouring states.
“Thousands of members of the Jat community in Haryana and the National Capital Region towns of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh would disrupt traffic movement and block all road links, including the five national highways, connecting Delhi with the NCR towns if the Centre fails to announce OBC reservation for Haryana’s Jats by August 15,” said Colonel (retired) OP Sindhu, the president of Jass, during the body’s executive council meeting.
He added that although the date of agitation would be announced later, it would surely be on a working day. Community representatives also asserted that supply of essential commodities, like milk, to Delhi would be cut off during the stir. The Jat leaders said that their agitation would be peaceful and only the establishment would be responsible for any loss of life and property.
Although the traditional peasant community of the Jats have been brought under the umbrella of OBC reservation in various states —Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi — the central government is yet to do so for the Jats in Haryana, who constitute the largest ethnic group of the state.
Haryana’s Jats have been rapidly losing their land to urban development and their chances of getting jobs in the defence services, too, are bleak nowadays following the Centre’s decision to recruit people on the basis of the population of a state.
The OBC reservation is expected to help them land central government jobs and elevate themselves economically.