M A I N   N E W S

No talks with Jats till they suspend stir, says govt
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17
Hardening its stance on the agitating Jat community, the government has decided there will be no talks with protestors till the ongoing stir is suspended. The government is also ready with an action plan to thwart the agitation to ensure that it does not spread further or acquires a violent form.

As a response to this hardened stance, Jat leaders today threatened to block roads in North India from Sunday onwards. Protesters intend to block train tracks connecting the national capital with Jammu, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai from Monday. The Jats are demanding that the government should include them for 27 per cent OBC reservation regime in central jobs. The Jats have also threatened to block essential supplies to Delhi.

According to sources, the government’s patience was running out and the general sentiment was “How can there be talks if they want to agitate?” Jats have been protesting for more than 14 days across western UP and parts of southern Haryana.

All India Jat Arakshan Samiti President Yashpal Malik told the Tribune over the phone “ we have a plan to block rail tracks that connect major destinations like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Jammu. The agitation will go on”.

Sources in the government said the Central Government was ready to fulfil the demands of the Jats by forwarding their plea to the Backward Castes Commission for consideration. In 1998, the same demand had been rejected by the commission, said a top official while adding that since 1998 the status of the Jats has only risen. “Lower economic criteria is one of the parameters for treating a community as Backward”, a senior functionary said, while adding that since Jats hold majority land holdings in Western UP and Haryana, how can they be given OBC status.

Reeling off the political dominance of the community, officials said Charan Singh has been a former prime minister, Devi Lal a former deputy prime minister and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Bansi Lal, OP Chautala and Ajit Singh are well-known names in Indian politics.

Yesterday Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had met the Jat leaders and them to suspend the stir and come for talks. The ‘core committee’ of the Jats that meet in Ghaziabad last evening rejected the demand. Col (retd) O P Sindhu, National President of the Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, today told reporters that the community will be forced to “seal” the borders of Delhi and deprive the capital of water, electricity and oil if their “just demands” were not met within the next 
three days.

Meanwhile, Naresh Kadyan, a representative of the International Organisation for Animal Protection, had demanded immediate restoration of public transport and legal action against these Jat leaders. He threatened to file a PIL in case the government did not act.





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