Delhi lockdown averted as Jat leaders defer stir by 15 days

After a successful round of talks with the Haryana government on Sunday, the Jat agitation was postponed by 15 days


Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Union minister Ch Birender Singh holding a meeting with a delegation of Jat leaders led by Yashpal Malik in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTI
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Union minister Ch Birender Singh holding a meeting with a delegation of Jat leaders led by Yashpal Malik in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Plans for a lockdown of all arterial roads and metro rail services from 11pm on Sunday night in the national capital were shelved after organizers of the Jat stir postponed their agitation by 15 days.

The shutdown had been announced after Jat groups threatened to intensify their stir to demand reservations in all government jobs.

Senior home ministry officials said on condition of anonymity that the ministry had instructed the Delhi police to ensure that all Jat protestors are stopped. The Akhil Bharatiya Jat Arakashan Sangharsh Samiti had threatened to gherao Parliament on 20 March to push for their demands.

Section 144 (curfew) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was set to be imposed in the city from Sunday 11pm, while 12 metro stations in central Delhi were to be sealed from 8pm onwards said a senior Delhi police official, on the condition of anonymity.

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However, after a successful round of talks with the Haryana government on Sunday afternoon, the agitation was postponed by 15 days.

The Jat agitation began in February 2016, after this politically influential community from Haryana sought reservations under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. The Haryana government, in 2012 had given the community a 10% representation with Special Backward Classes status.

In March 2014, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA-2) government granted the OBC status to Jats.

However, in March 2015, the Supreme Court set aside the notification that granted OBC status to Jats. Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi met leaders of the community in March 2015 the community intensified its stir in 2016.

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