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Up in arms for quota

An aggressive and violent agitation of the Jats demanding reservations for the community rocked Haryana in the second and third weeks of February

An aggressive and violent agitation of the Jats demanding reservations for the community rocked Haryana in the second and third weeks of February. At least 21 people had been reportedly killed at press time in clashes between the army and the agitators and between different groups of agitators. The agitation disrupted normal life not only in Haryana but also in Delhi and other neighbouring states. By the time the Haryana government woke up to the gravity of the situation and the central government intervened, things had gone out of hand. Here are some pictures of the agitation and the violence that  accompanied it:

The Jat agitation in Haryana spilt over to Deeg, Bharatpur, in Rajasthan
Members of the Jat community block railway tracks near Rohtak
Jat protestors in Faridabad
A view of shops and motorcycles burnt by protesters at Rohtak on Saturday. February 20, 2016: Photo by Manoj Dhaka
A burnt building in Rohtak
Indian Army soldiers conduct a flag march in Rohtak
Haryana Roadways buses torched by protestors in Kaithal


The demands

> Jats, along with four other castes, were granted 10 per cent reservation under “Special Backward Class” category in Haryana last year

> After the Supreme Court struck down reservation granted to Jats in the OBC category by the central government, the Haryana High Court quashed the Special Backward Class reservations.

> With no end of this agitation in sight, the Haryana government offered reservations to Jats under Special Economically Backward Class category, which they have rejected.

> Jats say that they have been granted reservations under OBC category in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and some other states. They want a part of the 27 per cent reservation granted to OBCs in Haryana as well as at the central level


Published in the March 2016 issue of the Forward Press magazine

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