Delhi: Leaves cancelled, 30,000 cops to keep vigil on Jat protesters
The Delhi Police on Thursday warned that they will not hesitate from using batons, water cannons and even rubber bullets if Jat agitators tried to disrupt life in the national capital next Monday, during their agitation for reservations.
Over 25,000 Delhi Police personnel and 40-50 companies of paramilitary forces will guard the city’s roads and borders from Sunday evening and have been instructed to use “appropriate force” against agitators if they try to disrupt peace.
Leaders of the Jat community had earlier threatened to march into the city with lakhs of supporters on tractors and trolleys on Monday to demand reservation under the OBC quota. The Jats, during their last protest at Jantar Mantar on March 2, had threatened to cut supply of milk, vegetables and other essentials to Delhi and bring the city to a standstill if their demands weren’t met.
Police, however, said that the city won’t come to a standstill at any cost as Jat agitators will not be allowed to enter the city at all. “Their leaders have not sought our permission to protest in Delhi. Even if they do, we won’t grant them permission,” said Madhur Verma, Delhi Police spokesperson, on Thursday.
During a high-level meeting held on Wednesday — that saw attendance of all senior police officer over the rank of SHOs — Delhi Police also decided to cancel the leaves of all its personnel from Monday until further orders.
The police are in touch with their counterparts in Haryana to seek their assistance in preventing the Jats from entering Delhi. “If they are not contained in Haryana, they will be stopped at the borders by our personnel. All 20 border points to the city will witness controlled and regulated movement of people and vehicles,” said Verma.
Since stopping tractors, trolleys and buses carrying Jat protesters is likely to create traffic snarls on the borders, a large number of traffic personnel will be deployed to handle the situation. “Our priority will be to get the agitators and their vehicles removed from the borders before they cause congestion. We will react as per requirement on that day,” said a traffic officer.
In Delhi, all district police and units have been roped in. “The police’s district reserves will be used to quell any disruption in the city by Jats living in Delhi,” said Verma. Anyone carrying sticks, knives or any lethal weapons on the roads will be detained, he added.
Police said that any attempts to sneak into the capital in by trains will be thwarted at the stations. “We will not hesitate to use physical force or register FIRs against miscreants,” warned Verma.