Haryana, Delhi gears up as Jats prepare for another round of protests

The second round of agitation started in Haryana and the security arrangements were tightened in the lieu of earlier protests in February. The agitation is the result of Jats’ demand to increase the quota in government jobs and also in the educational institutions. The All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) gave a heads up for this agitation whereas some of the other agitation cells have stayed away from the same. Haryana government had approved the demands of Jats by passing the Jat Reservation bill, but as the same was put on hold by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, it was confirmed that there would be another round of protests.

Because of the increase in the security forces, the protest was moved to rural areas by the Jats as they are not willing to repeat what happened in February, a violence that claimed at least 30 lives. According to district commission of Rohtak, six commissions have withdrawn their agitation after the negotiation.

Ram Niwas, Haryana Additional Chief Secretary said, “Section 144 has been imposed in all districts, specially in 1 km range on both sides of national highway and railway tracks.” Police have been keeping a close eye on the protestors. In some areas like that of Rohtak and Jhajjar, the internet services have been put to a halt.

The protestors have confirmed that they will not block highway or railway lines and will stay away from the cities. On the other hand, they said that they will not stay quiet if their demands are not met.

Around 4,800 paramilitary personnel have been deployed and there is high alert all over the area. The districts on high alert are Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Bhiwani, Hisar, Panipat, Kaithal and Fatehabad. Ram Niwas earlier said, “Besides adequate deployment of police personnel, as many as 48 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed at various places in the state keeping in view the stir call from tomorrow. We have asked for 15 more companies from the Centre.”

He further added, “We are not taking any chance, even though only one group was going ahead with the dharna. Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to guard the Western Yamuna Canal in Sonipat district.”

The munak canal which supplies water to Delhi was captured during February agitation and the water supply to national capital was shut off for three days till the army took re-control of the canal, establishing normal water supply to Delhi. Further, Delhi Police has also decided to impose Section 144 in southwest, northwest and southeast Delhi as a precautionary measure.

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