As the Jat community has already served a 15-day ultimatum to the government of Haryana for reservation implementation, around nine Haryana districts were on a high alert on Sunday.
About 2,000 people from Rohtak and other gathered at Jassia village (approximately 20 km from the city) to protest against the government. As per the Rohtak authorities, the protest wasn’t legal, as it prohibited unlawful assembly (under Section-144 of the Criminal Procedure Code).
The situation was sensitive with the community protesting right next to the highway between Rohtak and Panipat. Even the police was lined up on the highway with water cannons and paramilitary personnel in well-equipped gear.
It is known that, starting Sunday, a State-wide protest has already been called for by ABJASS (the Akhil Bhartiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti) owing to the delay in granting Jat reservation under the OBC quota by the Haryana Government. Post the violent stir by the Jat Community in February (that ended up taking 30 lives), the government had agreed to grant the same. Since then, the government notified about the reservation in May, which got stayed by the High Court.
As told by Shashank Anand, Rohtak Superintendent of Police, “We have filed an FIR against the organisers of this protest as they are in violation of Section-144. The matter is under investigation. Till then, we are keeping a close watch to make sure there is no illegal activity. The situation is under control”.
Also, while speaking to the crowd, the Rohtak in-charge of ABJASS, Ashok Balhara shared that the agitation would be peaceful.
To combat the protest, Ram Niwas, Haryana Additional Chief Secretary has stationed 55 companies of paramilitary forces along with Haryana Police. All sensitive areas such as railway tracks, national as well as State highways have been protected well. Moreover, all internet services have been banned by the administration in Sonipat.
According to Deputy Commissioner K. Makarand Pandurang, “these services could also be used in illegal activities such as blocking roads, highways and railway tracks, damaging government property and disrupting essential services and supply of food. Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Google Plus and mobile internet could be misused for this purpose”.