New Delhi:Several thousand Jats from various states held a rally at Jantar Mantar here on Thursday to press their demands, and announced they would intensify their stir in Delhi, even laying siege to Parliament on March 20.
Several demonstrators were detained after they tried to break through police barricades on Parliament Street. The All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), spearheading the agitation, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party governments in Haryana and at the Centre of being "insensitive" to their demands, which include reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
Agitating groups of Jat community members from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, besides those from Delhi, are also demanding jobs to the next of kin of those killed in the 2016 violent Jat agitation in Haryana, withdrawal of cases registered against the Jats, and action against officers involved in using force against them.
The AIJASS, which resumed agitation across Haryana from January 29, said it will step up the stir to "wake up" the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana and the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
"We have been peacefully demonstrating for the last 33 days, but the state and central governments have remained insensitive to our demands," AIJASS President Yashpal Malik said.
"To wake up the governments, we will launch a massive campaign on March 20," Malik said, adding that the community was prepared for "a long-drawn battle" and that essential supplies to the national capital are likely to be affected."It is for the government to come out with a solution; but we feel they don't want a solution. We are ready for a long-drawn battle and this march is an announcement on this," said Malik, adding that over 50 lakh Jats from 13 states will join the stir.
The agitators later marched towards Parliament and submitted a memorandum to authorities on their seven-point demands, to be forwarded to both President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police R.P. Meena said around 4,000-5,000 persons particpated in the agitation and many were detained when they tried to break through the barricades near Parliament.
The Jats are also demanding action against Haryana's Bharatiya Janata Party MP Raj Kumar Saini for his alleged anti-Jat statements during last year's agitation.
Violence during the February 2016 agitation by the Jats across several districts in Haryana left 30 people dead and over 200 injured. Government and private properties worth hundreds of crore were also damaged and destroyed.