Jat agitators demanding job quota in Haryana on Wednesday agreed for talks with the state government after the administration gave them permission to stage sit-ins in Panipat and Kaithal districts. The protesters said that they would not go to Chandigarh or New Delhi for talks.
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“The talks can be held only in Rohtak or in the nearby areas,” announced Yashpal Malik, president of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), while addressing a well-attended protest in Jassia village of Rohtak district. “We shall participate in dialogue only if we receive a call from the head of the government-formed panel,” he said.
The government on Tuesday had formed a five-member panel headed by state’s chief secretary DS Dhesi for the talks. Malik also said that at least 100 protesters would participate in the talks.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said he hoped the issue of Jat agitation for quota would be resolved soon. The government has intensified its efforts after intelligence inputs that the situation may become worse in the coming days if the issue was not resolved with dialogue because a group of college and university students have also started participating in the agitation from Wednesday.
Hundreds of students and youths reached the sit-in venue in Jassia village from Rohtak as part of their bike rally. Keeping in view the students’ call of participation in the agitation, heavy security arrangements were made in Rohtak. “We have to be extra careful when students participate in the dharnas,” said a police officer. Till now, the dharnas are being dominated by elders and women.
The protesters are demanding withdrawal of cases lodged against the youth in connection with the February 2016 quota violence and action against BJP MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini blaming him for “objectionable comments against Jats”.