Haryana continues to remain tense as the Jat community resumed their agitation for reservation on Sunday. More than 50 members of the community staged a demonstration at Atul Kataria Chowk in Gurugram. The protest was called off after several outfits, such as the Jat Swabhiman Samiti, submitted a memorandum to Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Hardeep Singh.
“The Jat community is dependent on agriculture, same as several others like the Yadavs and the Sainis. If other such communities have got quota, then it is only fair that we be granted the same as well,” said General Secretary of Jat Swabhiman Samiti RS Dahiya. Apart from reservation, they had included a few other demands in the memorandum, as well, he added.
DCP Singh told The Indian Express that the memorandum had been forwarded to the divisional commissioner.
However, the protest continues in other parts of Haryana. In Rohtak, prohibitory orders have been imposed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Officials said they had barred the assembly of five or more people about 500 m from state and national highways. They are not allowed to gather at railway stations either. The state government has requested the Cente for 55 companies of paramilitary forces, in addition to 7,000 Home Guards, in anticipation of violence during the statewide protests.
Meanwhile, the state Irrigation Department has written to DCP Singh to secure all water channels to the National Capital Region to avoid a crisis like last year. Superintend Engineer Shive Singh told Hindustan Times that they have a buffer stock ready in case of a water scarcity. “We have asked for support from district administrations because if the water channels are damaged again, it will affect the entire NCR. We cannot take any risk this time as people suffered a lot last year because of water shortage,” he said.
Haryana saw violent protests from February 18 to 23, during which 30 people were killed and more than 300 were injured. Rohtak and its neighbouring districts of Sonipat and Jhajjar were the worst affected by the Jat quota stir. Delhi, too, had felt the effects of the agitation, after Jat members brought their protest to Munak Canal, the national Capital’s main source of water.