Responding to the call by various organisations, members of the Jat community in Haryana on Sunday began their march to blockade the national capital and press the Union, as well as the State governments, to concede their demand for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
The two main organisations spearheading the agitation, Sarvjat Khap Aarakshan Samiti and Jat Aarakashan Sangharsh Samiti, have rejected the recent announcement by the Haryana government that claimed to have accepted the report by the Haryana Backward Classes Commission to recommend a 10 per cent reservation to Jats and four other communities. It is “eyewash,” these organisations said, accusing the State government of attempting to mislead the people.
Sarvjat Khap Aarakshan Samiti chief Nafe Singh has said the announcement contravened the Supreme Court ruling that reservations could not go beyond 50 per cent. He said 22 per cent reservation already existed for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) accounted for 27 per cent. He clarified that the Jats of Haryana had sought to be included in the 27 per cent category for the OBCs.
Providing details of the agitation, president of Jat Arakashan Sangharsh Samiti Ram Bhagat Malik said activists from Rohtak, Hisar, Sirsa, Jind and Fatehabad, would blockade Delhi at Bahadurgarh; while those from Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat and Sonepat would picket the Kundli border. The Gurgaon side would be blocked from Gurgaon, Bhiwani and Bawal.
When reports last came in, the protesters had begun using every means of transport to reach the assembly points. Both Mr. Singh and Mr. Malik said the protesters would prevent all vehicular and commercial transport from entering and leaving Delhi. They warned the government, which has rushed additional security forces to deal with the situation, from using force to disrupt the proposed peaceful protest.
Haryana’s Brahmin Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti also announced a plan to organise a Statewide “rath yatra” from Monday to seek reservation for the community, which, he said, accounted for at least 15 per cent of the State’s population and was backward.