Jat leaders today called off their ‘Delhi Gherao’ agitation after the Haryana government agreed to their demands in a bid to end the community’s 50-day long quota stir.
The decision came after CM Manohar Lal Khattar held talks with Jat leaders from the state earlier in the day. Khattar had stated that the state government was committed to resolve the issue.
“Jat reservation process at Centre will begin after appointment of chairman and members of National Commission for Backward Classes,” chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said at a joint press conference with Jat leaders.
The Jats have been sitting on dharna in various parts of Haryana since January 29 to press for their demands. Matters came to a head after the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) gave a call for a march to the national capital to gherao Parliament and to hold dharnas on the Delhi border blocking all highways from tomorrow.
AIJASS Chaiperson Yashpal Malik said that their 50-day protest had been peaceful and will continue being so and they will decide their next course of action soon.
“We have suspended Delhi Kooch after agreement with the Haryana government on all issues. We will take a decision on coming protests in a state executive meeting on March 26,” Malik told ANI after the meeting with Khattar.
Besides quota, the Jats have been demanding release of people 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.
Around 30 people were killed and more than 300 people injured when a similar agitation by the Jats had resulted in large-scale violence in Haryana in February last year.
Following the ‘Delhi Gherao’ declaration by the Jats, 24,700 paramilitary personnel were mobilized to maintain peacein Delhi and NCR. Prohibitory orders were put in place and Delhi Police had issued a traffic advisory to the people in view of the agitation. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had also suspended its train services to and from all stations outside the national capital from Sunday night.
The Centre has mobilised around 24,700 paramilitary personnel in various parts of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in view of the Jat protests.
Officials supervising forces’ deployment said a total of 247 companies of these forces have been tasked to secure various locations in and around the national capital region and parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
A paramilitary company has an average strength of 100 personnel.
They have been pulled out from paramilitary bases located in North India and heavy trucks and vehicles were scrambled to deploy these personnel over night, they said.
The contingents, they said, are drawn from the CRPF, it’s blue dungaree donning counter-riots force Rapid Action Force, ITBP and SSB.
The CRPF had deployed the highest number of 130 companies out of the total 247 and all the units have now been positioned at the locations.
Giving a breakdown of the deployment, they said a total of 124 companies have been mobilised in Haryana, 114 in Delhi and adjoining areas and nine in Uttar Pradesh.
The Centre had on Saturday asked police forces of Delhi and its neighbouring states to stop the agitators well before they reach the borders of the capital.
In an advisory, the Union Home Ministry had told the Delhi Police and governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to invoke CrPC 144 to stop Jat protesters, who threatened to stage protests in Delhi demanding reservations in jobs and education, from reaching the national capital.
Arrest or detain the protesters much before they enter Delhi, disallow movement of buses carrying the protesters on highways and ban tractor trolley movement, the advisory had said.
The Akhil Bhartiya Jat Arakashan Sangharsh Samiti has threatened to ‘gherao’ Parliament beginning March 20, to press for their demands.
Four police officials, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were injured on Sunday in Fatehabad district in Haryana when Delhi-bound Jat community protesters clashed with them.
The police force was trying to stop them from moving towards Delhi. The clash took place on the Sirsa-Hisar-Delhi highway when the protesters, who were on tractor-trolleys, were stopped.
Police used force, including tear gas, as the protesters pelted them with stones.
Authorities in Haryana have imposed a ban on movement of tractor-trolleys in districts bordering Delhi to foil a call given by Jat leaders to lay seige to Delhi and hold a protest outside Parliament.