Chandigarh: Protests by the Jat community in Haryana seeking reservation in education institutes and government jobs continued on the 18th day today.
“Protests are on in all the districts of Haryana. Our agitation is peaceful,” Yashpal Malik, president of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is spearheading the quota stir, said.
Though the sit-ins have remained peaceful so far, the Jat leaders have threatened to intensify the stir after February 19 if their demands were not met.
Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, their demands include the release of those jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir.
The BJP government in the state had last week formed a five-member committee, headed by Chief Secretary D S Dhesi, to hold talks with the agitating Jats.
February 19 would be observed as ‘Balidan Divas’ at different places in the country in the memory of those who lost their lives during last year’s agitation.
In view of the fresh Jat stir, paramilitary forces have been deployed in sensitive areas, while the state police is maintaining a strict vigil.
As many as 30 people were killed and property worth crores of rupees was damaged at many places in Haryana during last year’s Jat stir which had turned violent. However, this time the state has been put on maximum alert, the officials said.
(With PTI inputs)