ROHTAK: Defying prohibitory orders issued by the Rohtak district administration, Jat community members pitched tents at Jasiya village for over 15,000 people expected to participate in a protest called by the Akhil Bhartiya Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (ABJASS) from Sunday.
The authorities had told the agitators to restrict their protests to a ground in Sector 6 of the district.
Rohtak deputy commissioner Atul Kumar said this move amounted to a violation of directives issued under Section 144 of the CrPC, and notices have been served to many of them.
“If they still go ahead with their protest tomorrow, we will lodge cases and take action taken them,” Kumar said.
The protesters, however, said the movement would be peaceful as long as police personnel maintain their distance. “If they try to touch us, they will have to bear the consequences,” said Joginder Pehelwan, one of the agitators leading the dharna at Jasiya village — which falls on National Highway-71A (Bawal -Jhajjar-Rohtak-Jind-Jalandhar).
He said arrangements have been made to ensure that the people camping at the village were not inconvenienced. “Twelve cooks have been employed to make three meals a day for 20,000 people. They cook halwa, poori and subzi for us. We all are pitching in to ensure that everyone has a comfortable stay...,” Pehelwan said.
Rohtak police have called in three additional paramilitary companies to make up for a shortfall of 2,000 personnel. Three companies of the CISF, two of the RAF, and one of the BSF have been deployed at various places across the city.
Meanwhile, the Sonepat district administration has blocked Internet data services across the region to prevent ‘misuse’ of social media platforms by protesters. Deputy commissioner KM Pandurang issued orders prohibiting liquor sale in the district from June 4 to 5, and asked owners of heavy duty equipment such as earth movers to station them in police station premises for the duration of the agitation.
Earlier this year, eight districts of Haryana were hit by largescale violence after members of the Jat community took out protests demanding reservations.
Denouncing the arrests made by the police in cases related to the February stir, ABJASS national president Yashpal Malik called for new protests across Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh from June 5. More agitators joined the movement after the Punjab and Haryana HC stayed the reservations granted by the government to the Jat community. Another group, the Jat Ekta Manch, also announced a ‘jail bharo andolan’ from Sunday.