Jat quota agitation: Protesters defy restrictions, clog NH-­71 in Rohtak | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Jat quota agitation: Protesters defy restrictions, clog NH-­71 in Rohtak

A day after talks between Jat leaders and the government panel failed to break the ice, a massive turnout of protesters was witnessed at Jat dharna site in Jassia village of Rohtak district. For the first time, national highway-71 A (Rohtak-Panipat road) remained jammed for several hours owing to the mad rush of protesters and their vehicles.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2017 11:24 IST
HT Correspondent
Jat protesters laying siege to the National Highway-71 on Sunday.
Jat protesters laying siege to the National Highway-71 on Sunday. (Manoj Dhaka/HT Photo)

A day after talks between Jat leaders and the government panel failed to break the ice, a massive turnout of protesters was witnessed at Jat dharna site in Jassia village of Rohtak district. For the first time, national highway-71 A (Rohtak-Panipat road) remained jammed for several hours owing to the mad rush of protesters and their vehicles.

The commuters had to face harrowing times as many of them were stuck in the jam while others had to take long alternative routes after the police diverted traffic. The panic due to traffic disruptions, similar to the previous round of Jat stir, was visible, as people witnessed Jat youths dancing on rooftops of Roadways buses and jeeps playing loud music.

Youths brandishing a gun at Jassia in Rohtak district on Sunday. (Manoj Dhaka/HT photo)

All lndia Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) chief Yashpal Malik, too, came to address the gathering, wherein he spoke about their talks with the government panel on Saturday. Malik said they had raised all seven demands of the Jat community and the ball was now in the government’s court. He said they had agreed to more rounds of talks, but may change their decision if the government failed to give any positive response.

The Jat leader said the upcoming event of the community on February 19, Balidan Diwas, to honour those killed during last year’s stir will be observed in 175 districts across India and not just Haryana. “If our demands are not met even by then (February 19) “...to na rail bandh karenge...na traffic rokenge..par bhookamp zaroor aayega (...we will neither disrupt rail nor road, but something earthshaking will happen),” he said, adding that he will disclose the future strategy at the right time.

In a worry for the government, troublemakers have started taking over the protests. Youths brandishing guns and sharp agricultural equipment took out rallies standing on rooftops, even when a large number of state police and paramilitary forces are deployed along the dharna venue.

The administration has invoked Section 144 of the CrPC, it has hardly been implemented. Rohtak SP Pankaj Nain remained unavailable for comment.