Jat stir: Haryana directs district authorities to maintain law, order

Chandigarh: The Haryana government on Wednesday directed the civil and police administration in all districts of the state to ensure law and order in view of the ongoing protests by the Jats over their demands and grievances.Haryana Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas interacted on the issue with Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Commissioners of Police through videoconferencing here.Ram Niwas directed the Deputy Commissioners to maintain law and order in their respective areas and constitute coordination committees after speaking with the agitating Jat leaders.He directed district officers to ensure that traffic is not affected in any part of the state, roads in villages and cities remain open and patients and candidates appearing in various examinations do not face inconvenience.The Jat agitation, which resumed on January 29, has spread to 20 out of the 22 districts in Haryana. More protestors have joined the agitation at various venues in the past two weeks.The agitating Jat leadership has given a call for observance of 'Balidan Diwas' (sacrifice day) on February 19.Large-scale violence during the Jat agitation for reservation last year left 30 persons dead and over 200 injured, and caused damage to government and private property worth hundreds of crores of rupees.The senior IAS officer also directed authorities to ensure that those participating in dharnas did not carry weapons and no inconvenience was caused to commuters. He asked them to resolve any untoward incident through discussion.He said a meeting of the five-member committee set up by the Haryana government, led by Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi, was held recently with the Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, and another meeting will soon be held to discuss various important issues."The government is considering all issues in a positive frame of mind," Niwas said."Following a request made to the Punjab and Haryana High Court for speedy disposal of the pending matter relating to reservation for Jats, day-to-day hearings had been started and it was expected that the matter will be resolved soon," he said.IANS