The Jat agitation that threatened to cripple normal life in Delhi on Monday has been postponed, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Jat leader Yashpal Malik announced on Sunday.
A relieved Delhi, however, still remained on alert with restrictions on exit in place at four Metro stations.
The decision followed several rounds of parleys in Delhi between the government and prominent Jat leaders spearheading the community’s agitation in neighbouring Haryana.
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Special Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak said security arrangements at the borders, in New Delhi area and other places will remain intact and that the security situation will be monitored closely.
“The police presence will be there. We are continuously monitoring the situation so that if any situation is precipitated, we are able to handle it,” he said.
The Jat community, which have been demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, among other things, resumed their agitation on January 29.
Apart from Khattar, Union Ministers Birender Singh and P.P. Chaudhary — both Jats — threw their weight from the government’s side to persuade the Jat leaders to postpone their agitation in support of their demands and grievances.
Khattar said both sides have reached a consensus on five points, including initiation of the process of reservation for the Jats in central government jobs, reconsideration of cases lodged against Jat agitators since 2010 and permanent jobs to next-of-kin of those killed and those maimed during the 2016 February agitation in Haryana.
Besides, the government will also give monetary compensation to the injured and institute probe against officers accused of high-handedness during the Jat stir, he said.
“All this will be done in a time-bound manner. Our government is committed to the welfare of the Jats,” the Chief Minister said.
Union Minister of State for Law and Social Justice P.P. Cahudhary said that the process for Jat resrevation in central government jobs will start after the Chairperson and other members of the National Commission for Backward Classes have been appointed.
Malik said the Jats will not undertake the proposed march to Parliament on Monday. However, he said, token dharnas at some places in Haryana would continue for the time being.
Khattar, who was to visit Lucknow to attend the swearing-in of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, called off his visit to be available for parleys with Jat leaders in his state.
The protest call had set alarm bells ringing in Delhi as Parliament is in session. There were apprehensions that normal life would be severely hit in the national capital, apart from the fact that students were to sit for board exams on Monday.
After the Jats called off Parliament march, the Delhi Metro announced it will run normal services on Monday but there will be no exit from Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan and Lok Kalyan Marg stations in the heart of the capital on the Yellow Line on Monday.
Police had on Saturday asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to curtail its services to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in a bid to foil the entry of Jats into Delhi.
Subsequently, the Delhi Metro announced it will suspend services to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and close 12 important stations from Sunday night.
The administration had imposed prohibitory orders in 15 districts of Haryana, including Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Panipat, Hisar, Kaithal, Charkhi Dadri, Fatehabad, Jind and Sirsa.
The Jat leaders were earlier in talks with a panel of government officers, but these had remained inconclusive.
Violence during the agitation last year had left 30 people dead and over 200 injured. Government and private property worth hundreds of crores of rupees was damaged.
The Jat agitation entered the 50th day on Sunday.