Jat leaders, Haryana panel to meet on Saturday

Chandigarh, Feb 10 (IANS) The deadlock over holding talks between agitating Jat leaders and the Haryana government was finally broken on Friday. Both sides have agreed to meet in Panipat on Saturday to discuss the Jats’ demands.

Jat leader Yashpal Malik, who heads the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), told the media in Kurukshetra that the panel set up by the BJP government in Haryana had invited the Jat leadership for talks.

“We will meet them at (a) guest house in Panipat and discuss our demands. We will discuss why the Haryana government could not implement the demands of the Jat community agreed upon last year,” Malik said.

He said the Jat leadership would attend the meeting with an open mind but would not budge on its demands.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home Department) Ram Niwas is said to be in touch with the Jat leaders.

The Haryana government on Tuesday set up a five-member committee under the Chief Secretary for a dialogue over grant of reservation to the Jat community.

The agitation by the Jats completed 13 days on Friday. The agitation has remained peaceful till now.

A section of the Jat community has been protesting since January 29 in 19 districts of Haryana.

Their demands include reservation for Jats, jobs to the next of kin of those killed in violence in the Jat agitation last year, withdrawal of cases against Jats and action against officers who ordered action against the Jats.

Violence during the Jat agitation last year left 30 people dead and over 200 injured. Government and private property worth hundreds of crores was damaged during the violence in February 2016.