Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed in several areas in Haryana ahead of the Jat quota protests planned outside Parliament on March 20, PTI reported. The restrictions were imposed in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani and Hisar, among others. Section 144 prohibits assembly of four or more people.
Internet services were also suspended in the sensitive districts of the state. Army personnel have been deployed to avoid any untoward incident. The protests will be led by the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti.
Yashpal Malik, AIJASS president, said that despite holding talks with the Manohar Lal Khattar government six times, their demands had not been met. “Attempts are being made to weaken our agitation,” he said. “This government looks utterly confused. Their statements are only complicating the situation.”
Malik claimed that Khattar had promised them to meet in Delhi earlier this month to discuss the matter. However, the chief minister, who was in Delhi at that time, had skipped the meeting, Malik claimed. “Therefore, we have decided to continue with our agitation and we will now move to Delhi on March 20,” he added.
The Jat community wants reservation in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes category. The movement had led to violent protests in February 2016, when thousands of Jats had blocked highways and burnt public properties worth crores. At least 30 people had died and more than 300 people had been injured during the agitation between February 18 and 23 last year. Several protestors were arrested for the violence.
Those spearheading the movement not only want the government to grant them reservation but also want those who had been arrested to be freed and cleared of charges. They have also asked the state government to provide jobs to family members of those who had been killed during the protests.