Times of Oman
Feb 23, 2017 Last Updated at 07:47 AST
No end in sight to Jat agitation in Haryana; Malik says ball in government's court
February 12, 2017 | 9:33 PM
Jat protesters block the traffic on the Panipat- Rohtak National highway during their agitation for reservation at Jassia village in Rohtak on Sunday. Photo - PTI
 
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Chandigarh: There was no end in sight to the Jat agitation in Haryana seeking reservation in education and government jobs which entered 15th day on Sunday.

Sit-ins and dharnas continued in many areas across the state, a day after a meeting between representatives of a Haryana government-appointed committee and leaders of the agitation remained inconclusive.

Addressing a dharna in Rohtak district, Yashpal Malik, president of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is spearheading the agitation, said, "The ball is now in the government's court. The dharnas will continue till our demands are met."

Even though the agitation remained peaceful, traffic had to be diverted near Makrauli toll plaza and some other points in Rohtak district in view of large numbers of vehicles carrying protesters in the area.

Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, the demands of the Jats include the release of those jailed during last year's agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir.

There is also a demand of action against BJP MP from Kurukshetra constituency Raj Kumar Saini for his alleged anti-Jat rants. Some Jat activists have alleged that the administration was trying to exert pressure for restricting the participation of volunteers in dharna by sending notices.

Malik said the government should intervene and stop exerting pressure on the agitators. February 19 would be observed as 'Balidan Divas' in the memory of those who lost their lives during last year's agitation. The Jats have been staging their main protest at Jassia village in Rohtak district.

The Rohtak-Panipat National highway-71-A on which tractor-trolleys and motorcycles were parked at some points, blocked the traffic movement and police had to divert the traffic away from the side. Despite the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPc, which bans assembly of five or more persons at public places, a convoy of tractor-trolleys and motorcycles passed through Rohtak district with DJ system belting out songs and protesters, especially the youths, raising "Jat Ekta Zindabad" slogans.


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