Scrolling news:

India: Govt agrees to meet Jat protesters’ demands, 12 killed

23rd Feb 2016
India: Govt agrees to meet Jat protesters’ demands, 12 killed

By Ahmad Adil

 

NEW DELHI, (AA): Violent protests in India’s Haryana State appeared to draw to a close on Sunday after New Delhi agreed to change the official status of the state’s large Jat community.

For the last eight days, Jat activists have staged protests throughout the state to demand that they be granted “Other Backward Class” (OBC) status, which would improve their access to state employment under a government-imposed quota system.

At least 12 people have been killed since the protests began amid attempts by security forces to forcefully disperse demonstrations, which in some cases have turned violent.

The Indian government places ethnic groups seen as socially or educationally disadvantaged into different official categories, one of which is the OBC category.

If the nation’s Jats were to be put in this category, they would be guaranteed unemployment under a quota system that reserves a certain percentage of government jobs to those of OBC status.

Jats are an agricultural caste group concentrated in northern India. In Haryana State, they are the predominant caste and therefore enjoy some political influence.

On Sunday, following a meeting between Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jat leaders in New Delhi, the government appeared ready to address protesters’ grievances.

Earlier the same day, Anil Jain, the leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana, told reporters that Jats would be considered for government jobs, vowing to introduce legislation to this effect at the next State Assembly session.

One minister in the Haryana State government confirmed that the government was prepared to meet Jats’ demands for OBC status.

“We are committed to granting them the OBC [status],” Haryana Minister Anil Vij told Anadolu Agency.

– Army deployed

The weeklong wave of protests had become a serious headache for the government, which had to deploy the military in certain parts of the state after protesters in some cases attacked government property.

“We have deployed the army,” Additional Chief Home Secretary of Haryana PK Das told reporters on Sunday, confirming that the total death still stood at 12.

Eight state districts of Haryana State, meanwhile, remain under a government-imposed curfew.

The agitation has also badly affected rail and road transport between India’s northern states.

According to one Indian railway official, as many as 1,000 trains had been affected so far as a direct result of the Jat demonstrations.

“We have suffered a loss of RS 200 crore [2 billion Indian rupees] while 1,000 trains have been affected,” Neeraj Sharma, chief public relations officer for India’s Northern Railways zone, told Anadolu Agency.

He added: “Important rail routes to the northern states — like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Jammu Kashmir — have all been affected.”
Haryana StateIndiaJat protests

 

 

[Archive Photo Indian soldiers. Photographer:AA]

Leave a Comment

What is 4 + 4 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets