The Jat quota stir in February last year saw spine-chilling stories of shattering dreams and destruction of hard-earned businesses but the biggest losses were experienced by the 30 families who lost their loved ones in the agitation.
A year later as the Jat community has started another round of agitation to press for their demands, the families of those killed in the agitation are giving their support to the protest, saying that the cause is much bigger than any individual.
“Arakshan ke liye humne humara beta khoya hai..jab tak humein nahi milta, tab tak ye ladai chalni chaiye. (We have lost our son for the cause of reservation. This fight should go on until we get it),” said Satbir, father of Jaideep who was killed in firing by security forces on February 20. Jaideep’s wife Sonia said she wants to go to the dharnas and raise her voice for the demands but no one from her village was going. “I have two small children. They would need reservation for education and job when they grow up. The government should agree to the demand,” she said.
The families of others killed in the stir have the same view. “I go to Jassia village everyday and take part in the agitation,” said Ram Kumar, father of Rahul Dangi, a BA second year student, who was killed in firing by the security forces on February 19 in Rohtak. “Jats are losing their sons on the border. How will these ministers of BJP and RSS know our pain?” he said.
The state government had divided all those killed last year into two categories— rioters and public. Based on the division, the government had extended financial help and a job to the next of kin of 10 such people identified as public (or innocent) in March. While Rahul and Jaideep were identified as rioters by the police, Jat families of even those identified as innocent public are attending dharnas and supporting demands of the community. “Until our demands are met, we won’t stop,” said Sandeep, elder brother of Rohtak resident Pardeep who was allegedly killed in an inter-community clash on February 20 last year.