Haryana Jats to boycott Holi over job quota row
Indo-Asian News Service, Updated: March 16, 2011 19:21 IST
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Chandigarh: In a bid to mount pressure on the government, Haryana Jat
leaders announced on Wednesday that their community will boycott the
Holi festival in the state March 20 and observe a "black day".
Hundreds of Jat community members, including women, are since March 7
squatting on railway tracks and disrupting train services in Punjab
and Haryana to press for reservations in government jobs under the
Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
A delegation of Jats met Home Minister P Chidambaram and Social
Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik in New Delhi on
"A special delegation of Jats, including members from Punjab, Haryana
and Jammu and Kashmir, met Union Home Minister and Social Justice and
Empowerment Minister in a joint meeting in New Delhi today
(Wednesday). The meeting was neither successful nor unsuccessful,"
said Hawa Singh Sangwan, state president of All India Jat Aarakshan
"They have sought three-day time to announce their decision. In the
meantime, we would continue our protest and intensify it after three
days. Haryana Jats would also boycott Holi and celebrate it as black
day," he said.
In Haryana, Jat protesters have blocked almost all railway lines in
Bhiwani, Hisar and Jind districts. For the last few days, railway
authorities have either cancelled many trains or diverted these,
causing losses worth millions of rupees.
Sangwan said they would gradually block all railway lines in the state
and cut off Haryana from other parts of the country.
Due to shortage of coal caused by the agitation, power generation at
the recently-commissioned 1,200 MW Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Plant at
Khedar in Hisar district has been stopped for the last four days,
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