Jats put off Delhi protest but continue in Haryana, govt assures meeting demands
Jat leaders and Haryana government reached a truce on Sunday leading to the protest march to Delhi being called off. However, Jat leaders will continue to agitate in Haryana and a review meeting has been slated for March 26.delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2017 21:46 IST
The Jats have called off a protest that threatened to cripple Delhi on Monday after reaching a truce with the Haryana government.
Sit-ins will, however, continue in Haryana till March 26 when the decision would be reviewed by the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is spearheading the stir for a quota in government jobs and education.
“Ab Jat Dilli na aa rahe (Jats are not coming to Delhi). We have called off our agitation after chief minister ML Khattar assured us today that our demands would be met,” AIJASS chairperson Yashpal Malik said here on Sunday at a joint press conference with the CM.
The farming community’s plan to march towards Delhi, a move aimed at putting pressure to the Centre, had the Capital on the edge.
Police deployment was stepped up along state borders and Metro asked to shut down stations outside the city.
The Delhi Police reviewed the restrictions in the evening and said Metro and buses would move as usual.
The decision to cancel the march came after a four-hour meeting Khattar and two Union ministers, Birender Singh and PP Chaudhary, had with Malik.
“After discussions with the Jat leaders, we have arrived at a decision that their demands will be met in a time-bound manner,” Khattar said.
Khattar said the government had accepted Jats demands, including initiation of the process of reservation for the Jats in central government jobs, reconsideration of cases lodged against agitators since 2010 and permanent jobs for the next of kin of those killed and those maimed during the 2016 February agitation in Haryana.
The stir was re-launched on January 29.
“The central government will appoint chairman and members of the backward classes commission very soon to take the matter forward,” Malik said.
The government would also give monetary compensation to the injured and institute probe against officers accused of high-handedness during the stir.
“The Centre and state will soon begin the process of giving reservation following the high court order,” Khattar said. The Punjab and Harayan high court had in May 2016 stayed his government’s decision to grant reservation to Jats and five other communities under the newly created Backward Class ‘C’ category.
The court has reserved its decision.
Once the decision comes, the CM said the government would begin the process to put the quota law in the ninth schedule of the Constitution, which is immune from judicial scrutiny.
As a Jat quota would breach the 50% reservation ceiling set by the Supreme Court, ninth schedule is seen as a way out but the top court has said such laws, too, are open to review.
The AIJASS had threatened to lay siege to the national capital, which shares borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, which, too, has a sizable Jat population.
The stir turned violent last year and left 30 people dead and property worth millions of rupees was damaged.
In view of the planned march, prohibitory orders were clamped in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to stop the Jat protesters from entering the Capital.
(With agency inputs)