The Jat quota agitation in Haryana entered its eighth day on Sunday and remained peaceful, even as authorities ramped up security in sensitive districts.
Amid elaborate security arrangements, the Jats held dharnas at several areas in the state which remained peaceful, officials said.
The call for the fresh stir has been given by some Jat outfits, especially those owing allegiance to All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti headed by Yashpal Malik.
Haryana’s main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has openly come out in support of the agitating Jats and asked the government to meet their demands.
However, senior BJP leader and state minister Anil Vij said today that while Jats were continuing with their dharnas in a peaceful manner, the opposition was unable to digest the same and was trying to flare up the issue to grind their political axe.
During the past couple of days, Yashpal Malik has been addressing the Jats at various dharnas sites.
At a village in Faridabad, Malik said the dharnas in Haryana would continue till the government accepted their demands.
He said Jats were willing to wait for reservation since the matter was sub-judice, but they wanted all other demands to be accepted immediately.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had earlier said that the government accepted the demand of the Jats to give job to the next of kin of those who had lost their lives in the agitation last year. Process has been initiated for the same, Khattar had said.
In the fresh round of the Jat stir, paramilitary forces are out in sensitive areas in Haryana while heavy police force has been deployed to maintain strict vigil, as the stir entered its eighth day.
Security has been further strengthened in many sensitive districts, the officials said.
The security was also tightened at the Rohtak residence of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
During a similar stir a year ago, there were 30 deaths and widespread destruction of property. This time, Haryana has been put on maximum alert, the officials said.
Notably, Rohtak and some of its neighbouring districts, including Sonipat and Jhajjar, had been worst-hit by the violence which broke out during last year’s Jat stir in February.
Yashpal Malik said February 19 would be observed as “Balidan Divas” in memory of all those who lost their lives in last February’s agitation which turned violent.