Security in the district was stepped up on Saturday, the day Jat groups and state government panel held talks to break the ice. The All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) chief Yashpal Malik has warned that the protests may be intensified if their demands were not met. The community is holding protests for 14 days in over 17 districts of the state.
Security around the dharna site at Jassia was intensified with extra companies of central forces. In the city, too, the police and paramilitary forces were deployed in good numbers.
The number of protesters increased further on Saturday with youths taking out rallies on motorcycles. Protesters rallied past finance minister Captain Abhimanyu’s Sector 14 residence that was burnt by mobs during the last year’s protest.
Many protesters left the dharna site in the evening, but vowed to continue the agitation till all their demands were met.
Even as the ongoing pro-quota Jat stir entered the 14th day today, the situation remained peaceful in the state, officials said. The main opposition party in Haryana, the INLD, has openly come out in support of the agitating Jats this time and asked the government to meet their demands.
During the fresh round of the agitation, the protesters have been staging dharnas at various places in the state amid elaborate security arrangements.
The call for the fresh stir was given by certain Jat outfits, especially those owing allegiance to the body headed by Malik.The agitation by the Jats has remained peaceful till now.
A section of the Jat community has been protesting since January 29. Their demands include reservation for Jats, jobs to the next of kin of those killed in violence in the Jat agitation last year, withdrawal of cases against them and action against officers who ordered action against the Jats.
Violence during the Jat agitation last year left 30 people dead and over 200 injured. Government and private property worth hundreds of crores was damaged during the violence in February 2016. Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs, the demands of the Jats include the release of those jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases against the protesters and government jobs for the kin of those killed.