The protests by members of Jat community continued in Haryana as they threatened to stop payment of power and water bills if their demands, including reservation in government jobs and education, was not met.
The agitators also plan to gherao Parliament on the issue, even as their protests, which have so far remained peaceful, continued for a 26th day on Thursday.
A core committee meeting of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is spearheading the protests, will be held tomorrow at Jassia village in Rohtak district.
“The core committee meeting of AIJASS will be held at Jassia village in Rohtak tomorrow to take important decisions,” AIJASS president Yashpal Malik said.
“From March 1, the protesters will not cooperate with the government. No one will pay power or water bills and instalment of loans that they owe to the government,” Malik said.
Jats from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh will protest in the national capital on March 2 and submit a memorandum on the quota issue to the President, he said, adding they also plan to gherao Parliament, the date for which will be announced on March 2.
A large number of members of the Jat community continued with their protests at different places in Haryana. Malik said, “Our protests remained peaceful.”
The two round of talks between the protesting Jats and the state government have remained inconclusive as the community members remained adamant on not calling off the stir until their demands were met.
Meanwhile, Malik said February 26 will be observed as “Black Day” by Jats and the community members will wear black turbans and ribbons and arm bands to protest the government’s policies.
Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, the demands of the Jats include the release of those jailed during last year’s agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir.
The main opposition party in Haryana, the INLD, has openly come out in support of the agitating Jats this time and asked the government to meet their demands.
In view of the fresh Jat stir, paramilitary forces have been deployed in sensitive areas of the state, while the police are maintaining a strict vigil. Police are also keeping a vigil near the statues of various state icons in sensitive districts to thwart any act of vandalism.
As many as 30 people were killed and property worth crores of rupees were damaged at many places in Haryana during last year’s Jat stir which had turned violent. Rohtak and some of its neighbouring districts, including Sonipat and Jhajjar, were the worst hit by the violence.