Jat community: 'reservations'/ quotas for
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
A backward community?
OBC panel opposed Jat inclusion in quota list
Dipak Kumar Dash TNN
In March 2014 The Union cabinet went ahead with its decision to include Jats in the central list of OBCs for nine states despite the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) rejecting the proposal. Just four days before the Cabinet’s nod on Sunday, NCBC said Jats “are not a socially and educationally backward community”.
The UPA’s decision is being seen in the context of the impending parliamentary polls as these nine states have over 8 crore Jats and send 226 members to the Lok Sabha. It’s for the first time that the government has overruled an NCBC report as far as inclusion of communities in the central list of OBCs is concerned.
NCBC sources said inclusion of Jats in the OBC list would affect the existing backward communities.
The advice, which has now been uploaded on the NCBC website, says even in the absence of such reservation, Jats are adequately represented in central services, government jobs, educational institutions and their literacy rate is sound. The commission’s report also lists Jat chief ministers, governors, diplomats and even industrialists and businessmen.
The Indian Council of Social Science Research, which was engaged by NCBC for the survey, had submitted that Haryana, UP and Rajasthan have substantial number of IAS, IPS and IFS officers from the community. The NCBC report sent to the government ahead of the Cabinet meeting, opined that the Jat community had not fulfilled the criteria and methodology for inclusion in the central list of OBCs for social and educational backwardness.
A 'backwardness' timeline
Nov 28, 1997 | National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) advises government of India to grant Jats of Rajasthan (except Bharatpur & Dhaulpur districts which were ruled by Jats) OBC status. It rejects demand for OBC status for Jats in MP, UP, Haryana
Nov 9, 2010 | NCBC rejects proposal to place Jats in the backward list in Delhi
May 3, 2011 | Ministry of Social Justice empowers the NCBC to review its advices to government even after submission of advice.
This is followed by a flurry of petitions to review the case of OBC status for Jats
July 19, 2011 | NCBC raises the need for a survey of Jats in UP, Haryana, MP, Rajasthan, Delhi, Himachal and Gujarat to see socio-economic status of Jats
Dec 19, 2013 | Min of Social Justice requests NCBC to review case of Jat reservation
Mar 3, 2014 | Nod for Jat quota in central list of OBCs in nine states despite opposition by NCBC. The states are Haryana, Gujarat, Delhi, UP, Himachal, Rajasthan (Bharatpur & Dhaulpur districts), Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand
Government over-rules NCBC’s reports on inclusion in OBC list for the first time
2008-15: The Jats’ quest for reservation
Jats fight for reservation: Story so far
Ajay Sura,TNN | Mar 18, 2015 The Times of India
CHANDIGARH: In statewide protests by jat community to be included in the OBC category and get reservations in central government jobs along with admissions in educational institutes, Haryana witnessed huge agitations, and violent clashes between 2008 to 2014. The agitations came to end in March last year only after the central government accepted their demand.
As many as three people had lost their lives during the stir and hundreds were severely injured. Public, as well as, private property worth crores of rupees was damaged by the agitators, while hundreds of persons leading the protest were arrested.
Mayyar — a jat-dominated village on National Highway-10 and the Delhi-Hisar rail section — had proved to be a strategic location for the agitators, who exerted maximum pressure on the state government by resorting to rail and road blockade during the several rounds of stir.
The agitating jat community had blocked the highway and railway tracks stopping the supply of vital items to the national capital from this part of country.
In March 2012, when a youth of village Ramayan of Hisar district was killed in 'police firing', various parts of the state had witnessed violent protests by the protestors.
A police post in cantonment area of Hisar was also sent on fire by unrul mob and damaged local branch of a nationalized bank. A car of a session judge was also torched and the judge had narrow escape near Mirchpur village. Railway tracks were also blocked at Jind.
March 2008: All-India Jat Mahasabha, led by actor Dara Singh, raises demand for quota during a convention in Jind
2009: All-India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) formed
September 2010: AIJASS, led by retired Commandant Hawa Singh Sangwan, blocks rail on the Delhi-Hisar track in Mayyar village. Sunil Lamba of Ladwa village killed during protest
March 2011: AIJASS resumes stir at Mayyar. Agitation spreads to adjoining districts and 13 railway tracks blocked by the agitators
October 2011: The AIJASS split into two headed by Yashpal Malik, a jat leader from Uttar Pradesh, and Hawa Singh Sangwan
March 2012: A youth, Sandeep Kadwasra, is killed in police firing at Ramyana village of Hisar district
August 2012: The Sarv Jat Khap Mahapanchayat spearheads the agitation in Jind.
December 2012: Haryana government accords special backward status and 10% quota to five castes, including jats
September 2013: AIJASS and khaps threaten to resume stir, if reservation under OBC not given by the Center
March 2014: Central government issues notification providing OBC quota, agitation withdrawn.
March 2015: Supreme Court cancels notification regarding OBC quota for Jats
July 2015: Supreme Court on OBC quota for Jats
The Times of India, Jul 22 2015
SC junks govt plea on OBC quota for Jats
The Supreme Court has dismissed the pleas of the Centre and Jat groups and refused to review its verdict declaring as unconstitutional the government's decision to grant OBC status to the community . A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F Nariman also dismissed petitions filed by a group of 150 students who sought reservation under OBC category for the post of probationary officers in banks, saying they had already cleared the entrance exam.
The SC had in March junked the Centre's decision to grant Jats reservation in jobs and educational institutions, terming it as a reflection of “negative“ and “retrograde“ governance.
2015: Supreme Court scraps quota
Mar 18 2015
SC scraps OBC quota for Jats, dubs govt move `retrograde'
The Supreme Court struck down the Centre's controversial decision to grant reservation to the Jat community in jobs and educational institutions while terming it a reflection of “negative“ and “retrograde“ governance. The UPA government's decision to grant OBC status to the Jat community on the eve of the 2014 general elections had drawn strong reactions from other backward class communities which viewed the move as vote bank politics. The NDA government later defended the UPA's decision in the Supreme Court. “We cannot agree with the view taken by the government that Jats in the nine states in question are a backward community so as to be entitled to inclusion in the central lists of other backward classes,“ the SC said. The view taken by the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to the contrary is adequately supported by good and acceptable reasons which furnished a sound and reasonable basis for further consequential action on the part of the Union government,“ said Justice Gogoi, who authored the judgment for the bench, which also included Justice Rohinton F Nariman.
NCBC had in its report advised the government against grant of OBC status to Jats, saying the community was not socially and educationally backward to be entitled to a share in 27% OBC quota in jobs and admission to educational institutions. It had also said that the community was adequately represented in armed forces, government services and educational institutions.
On March 4, 2014, the Centre had granted OBC status to Jats of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, MP, Delhi, UP and Uttarakhand besides the districts of Bharatpur and Dholpur in Rajasthan. It had rejected the NCBC's suggestions, saying it “did not adequately take into account the ground realities“.
The court also rejected the Centre's stand justifying reservation on the ground that Jats were granted OBC status by many states 10 years ago.It pulled up the government for reopening the issue on the basis of outdated and antiquated data a decade later during which the country had progressed.
SC: Jats ineligible for OBC reservation
April 13, 2015
The SC verdict on Jat quota emphasises evidence-based assessment of backwardness
The March 17 Supreme Court verdict overturned the 2014 central government categorisation of Jats as "backward", and hence made the community ineligible for the other backward class (OBC) reservation. This has generated predictable, mixed responses-welcomed by several media commentators as a "blow to the politics of reservation", and opposed by Jat representatives such as the Akhil Bhartiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti.
We need to go beyond these reactions and examine the Supreme Court verdict in terms of what it reveals about the process of identification of beneficiaries. But first, we need to remind ourselves why affirmative action was felt to be necessary in the first place. Very simply, without going into the pre-Independence history of reservations, this was because legal equality for all Indians (guaranteed by the constitutional and legal apparatus) was, and is, not matched by substantive equality, or "equality in fact" on the ground.
This leads to the next question: How do we determine or identify individuals/groups/communities that need a special push to achieve substantive equality? Several articles in the Constitution-15(4), 16(4), 46, 355 etc-enable the state to make special provisions to level the playing field for socially and economically backward communities to somewhat reduce accumulated disadvantage resulting in unequal starting positions relative to better-off communities. The perennial question that has dogged quota debates is whether caste should at all be a criterion in the vector of characteristics that define "backwardness".
This question can (and should) only be answered empirically. Do large data sets reveal persistent, contemporary, significant disparities and discrimination by caste? If yes, then caste is indeed one of the axes of disadvantage. However, in order to make special provisions truly commensurate with backwardness, the empirical evidence needs to be examined repeatedly, both because over time relative positions of specific caste groups are bound to change and also because other dimensions of disadvantage (such as sexual orientation) could become salient (and in principle, caste could cease to be relevant).
In the specific context of OBCs, the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is supposed to be the body that verifies and evaluates the legitimacy of specific claims for inclusion into the central list of OBCs. In February 2014, it submitted a review for nine states (in seven of the nine states, Jats were already counted as OBCs in the state government lists) and concluded that Jats, as a community, do not meet the criteria of backwardness. This was disregarded by the central government, which issued a notification declaring Jats to be OBCs.
The SC verdict has correctly validated the NCBC assessment of a particular claim and not rejected caste as an ingredient of backwardness. The NCBC has made 33 amendments to the OBC list since 1993, based on its examination of 1,221 requests, of which 766 were for inclusion and 455 were for rejection.
There have been similar changes in SC/ST lists as well. Carrying forward large parts of the pre-Independence "Depressed Classes" list first drawn up in 1935, the scheduled caste list prepared in 1950 was first amended in 1956 to include Dalit Sikhs. Changes to this list were made in 1976, 1986, 1990 (addition of neo-Buddhists), 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 and so on. Similar changes have been made to the ST list. For instance, since the 2001 Census, there have been 242 modifications in the ST list, with 235 additions and 15 deletions and other changes.
The Supreme Court verdict has emphasised the need for an evidence-based assessment of backwardness and has asked for a continuous review based on "contemporaneous evidence". Additionally, it has allowed the public a glimpse into the process of designation of beneficiaries. Fresh yardsticks are welcome. The emphasis on evidence will hopefully infuse both objectivity and transparency in the designation of beneficiaries as well as rigorous assessments of affirmative action (which so far reveal that its benefits outweigh costs). Those who hail the Supreme Court verdict as a death knell for the "politics of caste" should support it in its entirety and be prepared to accept in-depth testimonies which reveal that, unfortunately, caste continues to be one of the major axes of disadvantage in contemporary India.
Bhaisaab, you should get someone more trustworthy," a businessman in Rohtak presses an old friend glumly, dwelling on the "perils" of employing a Jat as his driver. "I don't like the way he constantly seems to eavesdrop," he says. But Jagmohan Mittal, better known as 'Haryana's Auto King' with a string of Maruti-Suzuki showrooms across the Jat-dominated southern districts, says he doesn't really have a choice.
Mittal, whose spanking new Nexa showroom along the Delhi Bypass in Rohtak was gutted by Jat arsonists just two days after it was inaugurated on February 18 (nearly 200 ready-for-delivery cars and SUVs were reduced to cinder at his stockyard on the city's outskirts), appears completely bewildered. "I employ over 5,000 people and a man's caste had never before been a concern," says the businessman who carried out a quiet caste audit of his workers in the wake of the quota agitation. "Close to 70 per cent are Jats," he says, somewhat surprised himself. And though he isn't planning any mass retrenchments, the sheer scale of the violence and the Manohar Lal Khattar government's evident inability to tackle the agitators have set him thinking. There is a never-before sense of distrust, a discernible wariness that is pervasive throughout the Haryanvi hinterland today. Three days and nights of abject mayhem and the unprecedented collapse of the police and civil administration this February, have sharpened caste identities dangerously-the Jats on one side pitted against the rest of the 35 castes that constitute Haryana society, the paintees biradari. And although not immediately apparent to outsiders, the streetscape is completely altered -the usually loud, raucous conversations are more whispered; it's now routine to look over one's shoulder; the non-Jat (Punjabi, Saini, Brahmin, Baniya) shop owners in the bazaars are visibly subdued.
Gulshan Rai Tandon, 74, a retired state electricity board employee in Sonepat's Gohana town, sees distressing parallels in the carnage with his Partition childhood. "It was like 1947 all over again, the fear, the morbid insecurity, the acrid stench of burning homes and shops," he says, recounting how his family was forced to flee from their ancestral home in what is now Pakistan. "It is time to move again," he said to his son this February 20.
Like elsewhere, in the small towns and cities across the eight riot-torn districts-Rohtak, Sonepat, Jhajjar, Kaithal, Jind, Bhiwani, Hisar and Panipat-Gohana witnessed some of the worst violence, with Jat mobs from the surrounding villages armed with Molotov cocktails, firearms and pickaxes methodically targeting non-Jat establishments, looting shops before fire-bombing them. All this under the 'watchful' eyes of the police, district administration officers and army columns that inexplicably backed off from confronting the arsonists.
"Yaad kar ke rooh kaamp jaati hai (My soul shivers when I recall it all)," says Mohit Tandon, whose bookstore, nondescriptly tucked into a corner of Gohana's Civil Road, was miraculously spared. But like others whose very livelihoods were consigned to flames, the 40-year-old shopkeeper is paying a stiff price. He is constrained to abandon Gohana, the only home he's known. "Even if I decided to carry on here, there is simply no way I am going to expose my children to the continuing trauma of living amidst all this fear and loathing," he says. Recalling the first day his eight-year-old son went back to school after the riots, he says, "Can you imagine, the burnt down shops is all they talked about in class...it was like the Jat children versus the rest."
So Mohit is moving out. For the time being, only his family will move into the rented accommodation he has found in what he hopes will be a relatively safer Karnal city. He plans to stay back because "it's not easy to uproot and move the business to a new placeThe Tandons are not the only ones seeking safer havens outside Jatland. Mukesh Kumar, 49, had freshly stocked his bookshop which sells academic books, as he usually does ahead of the new session. "After they (the rioters) filled up trollies with whatever they could use or sell, they torched the place," he says, visibly close to tears. A small computer kiosk he had set up just recently in a space next door, was also burnt down. "The shops were all that kept my family alive," he says.
"I will leave this infernal place, one hundred per cent," says Mukesh. But for now, he has to wait. For even if he wanted to sell his shop, there are simply no takers in Gohana, and it's the same in any place that witnessed the February violence. In Rohtak, realtors say property prices have fallen by as much as 60 per cent.
For the moment, besides the Rs 30 lakh bank loan he took to restock the shop, there is some respite from the compensation the Khattar government paid shop owners with claims under Rs 1 crore. "What's the point of staying on?" Mukesh asks, insisting that local Jats even resent the fact that the government has tried to partially compensate their losses.
Further down Civil Road, Jaipal Sharma, 45, a former Indian Air Force sergeant, seems much more financially sound but is equally despairing. "This was no agitation for reservations," he says insisting that even though they were Jats, the crowd that attacked were essentially "looters who came and did what they had to, fully confident that neither the police nor the soldiers would lift a finger to stop them".
Sharma points to two key facts: firstly, that the mobs happily targeted shops owned by Brahmins, Baniyas and Punjabis, despite the fact that none of these communities was opposed to or in contention with Jats in seeking a quota as backward castes. Second: they came in past noon on February 20, safe in the knowledge that the administration had imposed a curfew and the shop owners would not be around to protect their businesses.
The fear, Sharma and other shopkeepers of Gohana say, has still not abated. "We are forced to live amidst the very people who attacked us and they seem to have gotten away scot-free," he says pointing to the fact that even three months on, the police have made few arrests and absolutely no recoveries of the looted goods.
Sanjay Mehndiratta, a mithai shop owner, says local villagers are openly moving around on the scooters looted from his elder brother's two-wheeler Honda agency in Gohana. "They (police) can see it but there is no move to book the looters. It's simply not a priority for them. And the culprits are confident that since they got away with it once, they can do it again," says Sharma, reluctantly disclosing that "many of those who accompanied the looters, continue to threaten us".Former Nagaland and Uttar Pradesh DGP, Prakash Singh, 80, who has been unforgiving in his 414-page report to the Khattar government on the abdication of duty by the police and civil administration, is equally worried about what could well become an irrevocable caste divide across the state.
"It was to all intents and purposes an agitation for reservation but the issue receded into the background," Singh told India Today. Charting the year-long build-up ahead of February's violence, Singh describes in detail the venomous statements and public speeches by leaders on both sides of Haryana's caste cauldron-Jats like the Akhil Bharatiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (ABJASS) chief Yashpal Malik and Hawa Singh Sangwan, as well as Kurukshetra MP Raj Kumar Saini, a highly voluble OBC leader.
Singh says he is "astounded that state officials failed to take note of the vituperative caste confrontation in the state. Every one of those speeches (reproduced in Devanagari text in the body of his report) is actionable under the law." Admitting that the only way to try and salvage and repair the societal faultlines in Haryana today would be to ensure accountability and punishment of the guilty, the former top cop insists this must include "not just the officials, but equally all the culprits".
Rajinder Chaudhary, 55, a former professor of economics at Rohtak's Maharishi Dayanand University who now concerns himself with people's issues, agrees that the central reason for the deepening insecurity is the state government's reluctance to act against the perpetrators. Chaudhary toured the eight violence-impacted districts as part of an unofficial 'people's commission', and his contention is borne out by what Prakash Singh describes as the "pathetic arrest figures" in the wake of the scores of instances of rioting. Consider these numbers: just 593 accused were arrested against 2,124 FIRs registered by the Haryana police. As many as 345 of those arrested have already been let off on bail.
Chaudhary, worryingly, points to the fact that a majority of the non-Jats whose homes and shops were destroyed "haven't even begun rebuilding". He believes this is a precursor to a migration where non-Jats will find ways to move out of Jat-dominated areas. But wait, there's worse to come. In Sonepat, a Jat-dominated district where business is controlled by non-Jat 'refugees', shopkeepers in the city say they have armed themselves. "The next time this nonsense happens, we will be ready. Next time no Punjabi, Saini or anyone else will die without a Jat falling first," shopkeepers told the Prakash Singh committee.
Back in Rohtak city, Suresh Sharma, 55, a businessman whose highly popular RN Mall was set ablaze, refuses to be cowed down. Having lost crores after the rioters torched Rohtak's only McDonald's restaurant and two plush Gold Class PVR cinemas, he is now preparing to fight back. "This time they (Jats) took us by surprise in collusion with the administration. If there is a next time, we will be waiting for them," Sharma told India Today on May 28, even as Haryana's Jat leadership declared that they would renew their agitation from June 5.
In the first official admission since the violence finally ended on February 24, Haryana finance minister and one-time CM hopeful Capt Abhimanyu conceded that the state had failed. Declining comment on the actions or lapses by individual officers or politicians, Abhimanyu says that on May 27 there had been a "complete failure of the administrative, intelligence and law and order machinery". He acknowledged the growing "mistrust" between Jats and other communities, but insisted the violence (his ancestral home and other property in Rohtak was attacked too) was politically driven.
Whatever the case, Haryana is clearly sitting atop a veritable tinderbox, where any future caste confrontation could result in carnage. This is something that both chief minister Khattar, and the politicians that oppose him, need to ponder over.
Prakash Singh committee report
The Times of India, May 31 2016
Cops misled Army during Jat unrest?
Sukhbir Siwach Did local officials mislead the Army during the peak of the violence during Jat reservation protests in Haryana in February? The Prakash Singh committee report, accessed by TOI, talks of several instances where the force was either misled or underutilised. The committee also questioned the strength of the Army used to rein in mobs. It asked whether the state required 12 battalions to check the violence. The report said, “It is extremely unfortunate that Army had to be deployed on such a large scale to deal with internal disturbances“ and that the force was not properly used. It said the size of the Army deployment was so big that it was “enough to ward off a small scale attack in a sector by an invading army“.
The report refers to two videos of the violence. One shows an Army column in Hansi town of Hisar being piloted by a jeep which possibly had cops and the magistrate. The pilot sees rioters coming from the opposite direction but instead of alerting the Army column, makes a U-turn to avoid them, the report says. The pilot sees a group of rioters coming from the opposite direction. Where one would have expected it to alert the Army column and engage rioters, it takes a U-turn to avoid any confrontation with the approaching mob,“ the panel points out in the report.
The video also shows a police car coming from the same direction as the mob, joining the rest of the force at the Uturn and driving ahead. In the next minute or so, the video shows a scattered group of youngsters, very sparingly armed with lathis, batons and some with sharp-edged weapons, coming to the point from where the force took the U-turn, and indulging in “wanton acts of destruction and vandalism“. “It was a clear case of the force, com prising police and the Army , avoiding a small group of 4050 youths who could have been easily dispersed even with a mere show of force,“ the panel says. “The SDM and the DSP are squarely held responsible for this act which was partially cowardice and partially betrayed covert sympathy for the rioters.“
According to the panel, there were also “credible complaints“ that the Army was misled about the location of violence-hit Chhawani Colony in Jhajjar district “As a consequence, the Army took about three hours to reach the colony ,“ it says.
The Times of India, Jun 01 2016
Police assault on students in Rohtak triggered Jat violence: Panel report
Sukhbir Siwach The Prakash Singh Committee has blamed a February 17 police assault on hostel students in Rohtak and two minor clashes between communities for triggering the violence that killed 30 people during the Jat agitation in Haryana. The panel has called the police action unwarranted and added that it inflamed the Jat anger. It noted that till then there was no violence despite protests and road blockades in some parts of Haryana for almost a week.
The committee has cited three incidents in quick suc cession in Rohtak on February 18 that precipitated the situation. In the first, around 25-30 Jat lawyers clashed with 150-200 anti-reservation protesters after they had blocked a road near Rohtak's court complex. The two sides stoned and threw plastic chairs at each other. Local market association chief Bittu Sachdeva had led the anti-re servation procession.
“While the agitating Jat advocates were at the receiving end, a group of around 200-250 students and advocates belonging to the Jat community arrived at the location under the leadership of Sudeep Kalkal, Youth State Head of ABJASS (Akhil Bharatiya Jat Arakshan Sangharsh SamitiHawa Singh Sangwan fac tion),“ said the panel in its report. The anti-reservation protesters set four motorcycles ablaze amid a rumour that Jat icon Sir Chhotu Ram's statue had been damaged.This was the second incident which added fuel to the fire.
The police used force to get blockades lifted after Jat students blocked traffic at four places in response to the beating of the lawyers. “Thereafter, Amit Dahiya, DSP , Rohtak, along with a posse of police force, entered the hostel premises of Neki Ram Government College and allegedly beat up some students in the hostel,“ said the panel. It added this was the last straw leading to explosion of Jat anger.
Lack of leadership, direction
The Times of India, May 31 2016
Robin David Juniors In The Field Felt Leaderless, Says Probe Panel
Guess the means used by the top officers in Haryana's home department to issue directions to juniors in districts hit by the violent Jat stir for reservation in February 2016 -WhatsApp. This has not gone down well with the Prakash Singh committee, set up by the state government to investigate the role of police and civil officers during the violence that killed 30 people.
“...The highest functionaries were almost paralysed, and the kind of guidance, direction and control one ex pected in such a situation was just not there,“ the panel notes in the report.
According to the report, WhatsApp messages replaced written instructions and orders, and there wasn't even a state control room to monitor the situation. What the panel, however, does not say is how officers on the ground were getting the WhatsApp messages given that the state government had shut down internet services for a month in the affected areas as a preventive measure. Sources said many of the officers may not have got these messages from Das when they needed them the most.
The panel says in the report, “...the home department should have played a more active role and given, from time to time, specific directions to the officers in the field... Social media is a useful channel. However, it is felt that it should be used to supplement the regular, time-tested, official channels and not to substitute it.“
Singal was singled out for not leading from the front. Although he was ill at the time, the panel says, “The DGP found time to visit the places affected by violence on 23 and 24 February (after it ended).It would have been better if he had visited by chopper at least the districts worst affected while the agitation was at its peak... A police chief is expected to lead from the front in a crisis situation. Sh. Yash Pal Singal unfortunately did not give that impression.“
Singal did not even let additional director general of police (law and order) Mohammed Akil visit the affected areas as he wanted his deputy by his side. “No wonder, officers in the field felt leaderless,“ the panel says.“The only smart move from the headquarters was the deputation of senior IAS IPS officers to some districts to assist the local officers.“
Vulnerability of Munak canal
The Times of India, May 31 2016
Sukhbir Siwach “If a group of agitators could stop an important source of water supply to the national capital, what could a determined group of terrorists do is rather discomforting to imagine.“ The Prakash Singh com mittee, set up to probe administrative lapses in February's explosive Jat protests, has raised the disturbing question in its report.
According to the panel, it has been rightly said that what happened to the Munak canal “points to a grave internal security threat to India's critical national infrastructure“. According to the panel's report, accessed by TOI, Munak canal was breached at Garhi Bindroli village on February 21. A huge mob gathered there, attacked the police, and even tried to snatch the weapon from a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) trooper.
“The mob was leaderless and violent. The police force was left with no option but to open fire in self-defence, as a result of which one agitator was killed on the spot and another succumbed to his injuries later on,“ the panel says.
The next day (February 22), the agitators breached the canal wall at Khubru village in Sonepat, thereby cutting the water supply to Delhi Meanwhile, in view of the call to resume the Jat stir for reservation from June 5, the government is not taking any chances in taking preventive measures, and has already deployed three companies of paramilitary forces at western Jamuna canal (WJC) in Sonepat district.
May 2016: HC stays Haryana’s Jat job quota
The Times of India, May 27 2016
In a setback to the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana high court stayed job reservation for Jats and five other communities in the state.
The Haryana assembly had on March 29 passed a bill providing 10% quota for Jats, Sikh Jats, Muslim Jats, Bishnois, Tyagis and Rors under a newly carved out Backward Class (C) category . The government move came after the Jats staged an agitation in February which claimed at least 30 lives in the state.
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of Schedule-III (Block-C) of `The Haryana Backward Classes (reservation in services and admission in educational institutions) Act 2016', a division bench comprising Justice S S Saron and Justice Gurmeet Ram issued notice to the state government seeking justification for its decision. The case has been fixed for hearing on July 21.
Following the high court order, the operation of Schedule-III (Block-C) of the new Act, notified by the government on May 12, will remain stayed and no one will be entitled for the reservation be nefit till further orders from the court.
The matter had reached the high court following a petition filed by Bhiwani resident Murari Lal Gupta seeking directions to quash Block-C of the Act providing reservation to the Jat community under BC(C) category. The petitioner submitted that reservation to Jats has been provided under the new Act on the basis of Justice K C Gupta commission report, which has already been quashed by the Supreme Court. Counsel for the petitioner stated that providing reservation on the basis of Gupta commission report is like revising a judicial order, which cannot be done by the legislature. The PIL said that only the judiciary can revise the findings of an issue already decided in a judicial order.
It was also submitted in the petition that in 2014, too, the state government had introduced such a bill to include Jats in the list of other backward classes for reservation in jobs and educational institutes. However, the Supreme Court had held that Jats were not socially , educationally and politically backward.
The new Act was notified in the official gazette on May 12 by the state government.