It is the 7th consecutive day of reservation protests in Haryana that in an unfortunate turn of events has turned violent and is pushing Haryana to the precipice of utter chaos. The media missed the story largely because of the JNU issue which dominated headlines for over a week.
But now, with bullets being fired, large scale arson, clashes between cops and protesters, and the entire state of Haryana on boiling point, this has suddenly become too close for comfort for the BJP govt.
Both in the state and the Centre, the issue is not a new one. The demand for a Jat quota within OBC’s was granted by the Congress govt
but quashed by the apex court which has put it in deep freeze. But the issue is back with a bang literally with the army now being called in to restore calm in Haryana. Flag marches were held today in 6 cities. One person was killed yesterday in police firing and 18 were injured.
In retaliation, the protestors upped the ante and quite violently we might add. Resulting large scale arson across Haryana, ministers houses were attacked, their house set on fire. Suffice to say, the situation is grim, tense and threatening to spiral out of control. Both the state govt and the Centre were in a huddle today to discuss the developments with the CM Khattar appealing for calm, and also trying to reach out to Jat leaders.
Meanwhile in the national capital right next door, the Home Minister chaired a high level meeting which included the security top brass of the country. Part of the problem for the govt is that on the face of it, they support reservation for Jats in OBC, but can’t touch it because of the Supreme Court order. The protestors are now demanding that an ordinance be bought in the state assembly to give them their quota.
They have also warned of dire consequences if their demands are not met. This is the third straight agitation in as many states, after the
Patidar agitation in Gujarat and the Kapu agitation in Andhra, the big question is: Are their demands valid? Will this trigger off a bad
precedent for the future and can the govt now devise a way to at least stop the chaos it has resulted in?