Thousands of Jat protesters, many of whom came on tractors, thronged the dharna site at Jassia village in the district on Wednesday to observe community leader Chhotu Ram’s birth anniversary.
Due to heavy rush of supporters and pile-up of vehicles, there was a virtual blockade on the Rohtak-Panipat national highway (NH-71A) for several hours, even as the administration had invoked Section 144, barring assembly of more than four people along national highways and public spots.
The police, which failed to clear the road full of supporters, closed traffic on one side of the highway facing the dharna site. A company of Rapid Action Force and police personnel were kept ready along the protest spot to check for any eventuality. However, the event ended peacefully on Day 4 of the fresh round of Jat agitation.
AIJASS national chief Yashpal malik addressing the protesters. (Manoj Dhaka/HT Photo)
All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) national president Yashpal Malik, who is facing sedition charges, came to address the gathering at Rohtak and Jhajjar.
Adopting a tough stand, he ruled out any talks with the government. “What should we talk for? We have not changed our demands. They have given us assurance thrice, but failed to fulfil our demands. The only way to end this agitation is to accept our demands as promised,” Malik said.
He said if their demands were not met, Jats will take the dharnas to more than 300 villages across Haryana.
He warned the government that actions like invoking NSA (National Security Act) might invite lakhs of protesters on roads, but asked the public to maintain peace.
He also attacked the government for booking him “falsely” under several cases.
The Jat leader also slammed Haryana BJP ministers Captain Abhimanyu and OP Dhankar for calling Jat leaders “chanda khor (someone who misappropriates donations)”.
He added, “The way they are giving their statements signifies they are against the (Jat) community. We are sorry that his house (Abhimanyu’s) got burnt, for which so many of our children are in jail. But has he ensured justice to two of our youths who were brutally murdered in February last year?”
The AIJASS chief said, “We want them to rollback all cases. Our children were killed. Jat Dharamshalas were burnt. But we are ready to forgive and forget, so should the government.”
He said the government was doing nothing to ensure quota for them in the central jobs. “The quota case in Haryana is in the Punjab and Haryana high court. But what is the Centre doing for reservation?
In Jind, the police installed CCTV cameras at all the nakas to keep track of anti-social elements, as the crowds at Jat dharnas swelled on Wednesday.
JATS TO TAKE STIR TO DELHI FROM FEBRUARY 3
The All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti will start holding dharnas in Delhi from February 3 to press for their demand of reservation in central government jobs and withdrawal of cases registered against Jat youths during last year’s quota stir that claimed 30 lives and saw a large-scale destruction of government and private property.
The AIJASS said they will largely affect the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and will not let BJP form the government in the two states if their demands are not met.
INLD EXTENDS SUPPORT TO PROTEST IN KAITHAL
KAITHAL:Giving political colour to the ongoing Jat agitation for reservation, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has extended support to protesters at Deoban village in Kaithal district. The decision to extend support to the members of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) was announced by senior INLD leader and former MLA Ram Pal Majra.