Jats’ stir continues in Haryana, CM calls for talks on Wednesday

Chandigarh, Feb 16 (IANS) The agitation by Jats in Haryana to demand reservation in jobs and educational institutions continued for the third day on Tuesday, affecting road and rail traffic in some parts of the state.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday appealed to the community leaders to end their agitation and initiate talks with his government.

Khattar invited all organisations of the Jat community for parleys at his residence here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the stir cast its effect the most in Rohtak and Jhajjar districts. Railway officials said around a dozen-odd trains were cancelled and running of several others affected.

People travelling to and from national capital Delhi from Haryana for work were the worst affected due to disruption of trains. Transportation of goods on trucks and plying of buses were also affected in some areas.

The agitators tried to block all railway and road links to Rohtak town, 75 km from Delhi. Blockades were also put up in Sampla town, 25 km from Rohtak.

The worst affected were national highway-10 (Delhi-Rohtak-Hisar) and NH-71 (Rohtak-Jhajjar). Highways connecting Rohtak to Sonipat, Bhiwani and Hisar were also blocked by agitators.

Haryana Finance Minister Abhimanyu said the BJP government in the state had an “open mind” on the reservation issue and had even filed a review petition in the Supreme Court that last year disallowed reservation for Jats.

“The chief minister has already set up a four-member committee under the chief secretary on this issue and sought its report soon,” the minister said.

The Jat protestors blocked railway tracks and a national highway in Haryana’s Rohtak district on Monday to pressurise the Khattar government to announce reservation for the Jats under the Other Backward Class category.

The agitation by a section of the Jat community resumed on Monday, just a day after the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) announced that it was ending its agitation. The AIJASS agitation was on since Friday in Mayar village of Hisar district.

The AIJASS announced an end to its agitation after meetings with Haryana Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar at Hansi town in Hisar district late on Saturday.

The Jat protesters have been sitting on rail tracks at Mayar village in Hisar district, 250 km from here, since Friday.

Dhankar assured the Jat leadership that the community will get reservation under the OBC category in Haryana if the Centre extended the same to them in nine other states.

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