M A I N   N E W S

Jats suspend stir, give CM 6 months
Raman Mohan/TNS

Hisar, March 12
The 23-day-old pro-reservation agitation by the Jats, which held the state government to ransom, has been suspended till September 13.

This was announced by Mahendra Singh Poonia, General Secretary of the Haryana unit of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, at Mayyar village, near here, this evening after cremation of 20-year-old Sandeep, who had died in a clash with the police.

Poonia said that the CM had assured them that the OBC status would be accorded to the community by September 13. The 21-member panel set up this morning by the protesters, therefore, decided to suspend the agitation till then.

The protesters, who were earlier adamant on continuing the dharna even after the cremation, cleared the rail track at Ramayan village and lifted all road blockades soon after Poonia’s announcement. Normal traffic has been restored on the roads.

Suspension of the agitation has brought to the Hooda government much needed relief. The government has had to face many embarrassing moments during the agitation. One dilemma the government faced was how to deal with a mob that recognised no leader.

All those who claimed to have been authorised by the protesters to negotiate with the government invariably failed to convince the protesters to end the agitation.

The government yesterday went to the extent of releasing over 100 activists of the Jat agitation who were arrested on March 6 during a police swoop on the protesters. The release had been set as a pre-condition for suspension of the agitation.

Even after the government virtually crawled before the agitators, they did not relent and continued with the dharna on the rail track. Today too, the protesters first did not agree to their leaders’ request to cremate Sandeep’s body and suspend the agitation. The cremation was allowed only after the leaders assured them that the dharna would continue.

The Jat agitation began on February 19 after a rally at Mayyar village. Rail services were suspended the same evening as the protesters squatted on both sides of the rail track. Later, the protesters blocked most highways, virtually cutting the city off from the rest of the state.





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