February 13, 2017 3:52:57 am
THERE WAS a surge in the number of Jat protesters on Sunday in several districts, particularly Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonipat, at the sites where Jats have already been sitting on dharnas to seek fulfillment of their demands over the past fortnight. The most number of protesters joined at the protest site at Jassia village in Rohtak. The roads leading from Rohtak to Jassia, which is nearly 12 km from Rohtak, were completely choked with the sudden surge of protesters coming to the spot in tractor-trolleys, buses, cars and two-wheelers. Normal traffic movement was restored late in the afternoon.
All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) president Yashpal Malik visited the protest sites at Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonepat and addressed the gatherings.
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Jat groups have been holding protests across Haryana since January 29 seeking fulfillment of their demands including reservation as well as compensation and jobs to families of those who were killed during the protest held last year. They are also demanding general amnesty for those booked during the agitation in February 2016. Rohtak SP Pankaj Nain said protesters were coming to Jassia from adjoining villages. “We have deployed additional security personnel and the situation is under control. People are protesting peacefully,” he said. However, some of the protesters were seen carrying weapons along with them.
Condolence meetings were held to condole the death of Karan Singh who died after suffering a heart attack at a dharna site at Jind on Saturday. The Jats have demanded that compensation of Rs 10 lakh be given to his family and Karan Singh be given martyr status. Addressing the protesters, Malik exhorted them to be present in large numbers across the state and “bring an earthquake”. He also warned them that the government could “hatch a conspiracy to create unrest, so there was a need to stay alert.”
“The number of protesters has been increasing everyday by 20-25 per cent everyday. Even I had to walk a kilometre before I could reach the dharna site at Jassia. On February 19, the day the first shots were fired last year, we will observe Balidan Diwas. We are expecting lakhs of people at each dharna site. It will be a historic moment,” he told The Indian Express. The government has constituted a five-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary D S Dhesi to hold talks with the Jats. However, so far, talks have been inconclusive. AIJASS has given a list of demands to the committee and has stated that the government has sought time from them. Malik said they had already given a list of demands to the government. “It is now for the government to act. We will continue our protests peacefully,” he added.
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