Ready to talk with govt, but only if they come to us: Jat leaders change stand | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Ready to talk with govt, but only if they come to us: Jat leaders change stand

After refusing to hold talks with the state government over their ongoing agitation several times, All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) national president Yashpal Malik on Wednesday changed his stand and said they were ready for talks.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2017 01:15 IST
HT Correspondent
Jat protesters at the dharna spot in Jassia village on February 6, 2017.
Jat protesters at the dharna spot in Jassia village on February 6, 2017.(Manoj Dhaka/HT Photo)

After refusing to hold talks with the state government over their ongoing agitation several times, All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) national president Yashpal Malik on Wednesday changed his stand and said they were ready for talks. The Manohar Lal Khattar led BJP government had on Tuesday constituted a five-member panel to consider the demands of the community, now sitting on dharnas in over 17 Haryana districts since January 29.

“We are yet to receive any official communication from the government. But have read in the media about the formation of the panel. We are ready to hold talks. But we won’t go to Chandigarh or Delhi. The government panel has to come here near dharna venues. After the talks, we will hold discussion with our people at Jassia and take a collective stand,” Malik, who was here in Jassia on Wednesday, said.

Jat stir: Protests and promises
The images of mobs setting schools and restaurants on fire during last year’s quota agitation in Haryana have not yet faded, and Jats are protesting again.
Protesters at Jessia village in Rohtak. (HT)
The demands
Want reservation in government jobs and educational institutions
Rollback of criminal cases against Jat youth
Govt jobs for the next of kin of those killed in violence last year
Reason for stand-off
BJP govt piloted a law last March, which provided quota to Jats. The reservation was stayed by Punjab and Haryana HC on May 26. The govt has been trying to defend its quota law since.
Difference from last protest
The stir has been peaceful so far, unlike last year’s. While there was no clear leadership then, this time the stir is being led by the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti
Political support The opposition Indian National Lok Dal and Congress have publicly announced support
Government strategy
While the ruling BJP does not want the law and order situation get out of hand, it is also wary of taking strict action against Jats ahead of UP polls
TEXT: Navneet Sharma

Asked why he changed his stand, he said, “We had refused to hold talks when the government was forcing anti-democratic orders at us by refusing to grant permission to hold dharnas in Panipat and some other districts. Now that they have, we, too, are ready for talks,” he said.

The Jat leader however maintained that the talks would only be successful if the panel fulfils all their demands. “The government has agreed to our demands thrice now. The panel has to come with all the paper work to show what work has been done on their previous promises.”

The agitation of the Jat community for their demands of reservation and rollback of cases registered during last year’s violent quota stir entered eleventh day on Wednesday, with crowds at the dharna spots only swelling further as they days proceed. Some student bodies had given a call to shut state colleges and universities from Wednesday in Haryana to support the agitation. However, reports said things remained normal and under control.