Situation tense in Haryana as groups protest for Jat Reservation, internet suspended 

File Photo: Army conducts flag march in tense areas during 2016 Jat agitation. Protesters had burnt government buildings, a railway station, shops, malls, public transport and petrol pumps.

As protesters demand cancellation of the rally of the All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) chief Yashpal Malik, scheduled to take place on Sunday, heavy forces, including the rapid action force (RAF) of the Haryana Police, had to be deployed to avoid clashes.

In Jassia, after the Sarpanch Association and jailed Jat youths (who are out on bail) sat on a dharna at the rally spot insisting they will not let the rally take place, the situation remained tense.

Haryana had witnessed unprecedented violence during Jat agitation in February, 2016, in which 30 people were killed and property worth hundreds of crores of rupees was vandalised and gutted in fire.

The protesters said the AIJASS defied the mahapanchayat’s call to resolve the issue by boycotting it. “Thursday’s mahapanchayat had decided to meet again on Friday to resolve the issue. But the AIJASS volunteers refused to attend it saying they did not want a decision against them. So we came to sit on dharna at their rally spot,” Sumit Arya, the president of Sarpanch Association that is opposing the rally was quoted as saying, by Hardik Anand of Hindustan Times.

The youths who were jailed in connection with the Jat agitation of 2016 also sat on dharna to oppose the rally. “Yashpal Malik has collected crores of rupees in our name but has done nothing for us. Our prime demand of withdrawal of cases against us has not been met by government, so why these rallies for education institutes?” said Rahul Dadu, who is out on bail.

The protesters lifted their dharna late Friday night, giving warning that they would assemble again on Saturday morning to oppose the rally.

On the dharna, Yashpal Malik said it was a government-sponsored protest that will fade in front of his supporters. “These people have vested interests. This will not affect our rally,” Malik said.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Jat Mahasabha asked the state government to take legal action against Malik and BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini for vitiating atmosphere in the state.


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