Forces on alert as Jats get set to resume stir
nation Updated: Jun 03, 2016 08:44 IST
ROHTAK/NEW DELHI: Paramilitary forces have been deployed in seven sensitive districts of Haryana, while Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been enforced in eight as a preventive measure in the wake of recent calls given by the Jat community to resume protests from June 5.
The decision came after the Punjab and Haryana HC stayed their reservation in jobs and educational institutes under the OBC category.
In Rohtak, the epicentre of large-scale violence that rocked the state during the quota stir in February and led to the deaths of 30 people, a company of Border Security Force (BSF) and two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed at entry points.
The paramilitary is regularly conducting flag marches in the cities and villages. Two more companies of RAF have been called in Sonepat district. The administration has also imposed Section144for two months as a preventive measure. One of the two companies has been deployed at Garhi Bindroli village where the connection of Munak Canal was disrupted by mobs during the previous protest, leading to a water crisis in the national capital.
The steps are being taken even as All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) chief Yashpal Malik on Thursday said they have decided not to obstruct roads and railway tracks during their indefinite stir.
Haryana ADGP (law and order) Mohammad Akil, who held a meeting with police officials in Bhiwani, said, “The police force is fully prepared to deal with the protests. All necessary measures are being taken to ensure everything remains under control.”
The administration has allotted one spot in the district where people can peacefully sit on dharna.
“If people are found violating Section 144, strict action will be taken against them,” Rohtak additional superintendent of police, Himanshu Garg, said.
Besides paramilitary, cops in the districts are being trained to deal with riot-like situations.
The police stations are stocked with tear-gas shells, plastic bullets and water cannons and police personnel are being trained to use the same.
The administration is also holding meetings in villages across the state, trying to dissuade angry community members from adopting violent means of protest again.
KHATTAR MEETS SHAH
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said his government will not allow peace to be disturbed as he met BJP chief Amit Shah here to deliberate on the sensitive issue of Jat quota.
Union minister Sanjeev Balyan, a Jat leader from western UP roped in by the party to hold talks with community leaders, insisted that the state government was doing everything possible to restore the Jat quota, which has been stayed by the Punjab and Haryana HC.
QUOTA AGITATION FACE IS AN UNLIKELY CASTE WARRIOR
CHANDIGARH: All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) president Yashpal Malik has always been an unlikely caste warrior in Haryana. Though aggressive and articulate, he is an outsider. But that hasn’t stopped the real-estate developer from Uttar Pradesh from being in the forefront of the agitation of the Jat community for quota in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
While some other Jat leaders have preferred to take the legal route after the law passed by the state government to give quota to the community was stayed by the Punjab and Haryana HC, Malik has threatened to renew his protest in the state from June 5.
He has a twin agenda — to keep up the pressure on the Khattar government on the reservation issue as well as prevent action against people, whom his group calls “innocent youths”, booked by the state police for the violence during the February stir.
Malik has been holding talks with state and central ministers, but has shown no signs of relenting on his protest plans so far. He knows the electoral compulsions of the BJP in keeping the politically-influential Jat community in good humour in view of forthcoming assembly elections in UP.
Malik got involved with the quota cause more than a decade ago. “I and two other people, Ajit Singh and Harpat Singh, set up AIJASS in Bhiwani in 2007-08 to fight for reservation for the community. When Malik, who was secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Jat Sabha, showed interest, we made him president in September 2009. But there were problems as he kept vacillating throughout. We parted ways in Narwana in December 2011,” Jat leader Hawa Singh Sangwan, who also has his own separate AIJASS in Haryana, said.
The differences among the AIJASS leaders during the 2011 agitation led to the split. Malik slowly started consolidating his position in some districts. His manoeuvring skills, ability to raise resources and contacts with UP leaders have helped him expand his base.