As workers reached factories as usual on Monday, city industries were relieved that the proposed Jat march to Delhi was called off. As precautions in anticipation of Jat agitation, security was tightened across the NCR, especially in New Delhi, and police had directed the Delhi Metro to restrict services within the national capital.
The All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) had planned to cripple Delhi by choking traffic. Their longstanding demand for reservation is in the Punjab and Haryana high court. Besides, they have also been demanding withdrawal of police complaints filed against Jat leaders in the last five to six years, and government jobs for those who died in protests in 2016.
Industrialists were worried that employees would skip the day’s work fearing violence and road blockade by the Jat community. Many industry owners had made arrangements to tackle the imminent situation.
Manmohan Gaind, vice-president, Manesar Industry Welfare Association (MIWA), said, “I told my employees to report early, before the agitation starts. In case the agitation prolonged till late evening, we would have managed to drop them home. But, we are thankful to the government for persuading the leaders to postpone the agitation.”
Though only a few members of the Jat community live in Manesar and Gurgaon, they had plans to block roads and demonstrate, sources said.
“There was fear among all of us but we were sure the government would manage the agitation... We held a meeting with members of the Chambers of Industries, Udyog Vihar, and decided to wait and watch. And, thankfully, the leaders agreed to call off the protest and spread the message among their cadre. But, still, we were apprehensive if employees would skip the day. Nothing of that sort happened but we are still cautious as the planned agitation has just been postponed till March 26,” Ashok Kohli, vice-president, Chamber of Industries, Udyog Vihar, said.
Senior vice-president of Jat Sabha Gurgaon, Mewa Singh, said, “In the entire district, no untoward incident happened on Monday. We have to maintain peace till the next meeting on March 26. If the government acts as per its assurance, everything will be fine.”