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Agitating Jats threaten to block highways to Delhi on March 20

Demanding quota in education and jobs, thousands of Jats from northern states including Haryana on Thursday gathered at the Jantar Mantar here and threatened to block major highways leading to the national capital.

They said they would also stage a gherao of the Parliament building during their 'Delhi Kooch' (march to Delhi).

Accusing the BJP-led governments at the Centre and Haryana of being "insensitive" to their demand of reservation under OBC category, president of Akhil Bhartiya Jat Arakashan Sangharsh Samiti Yashpal Malik said that it was necessary to take a "big decision to wake the government up from its slumber".

"On March 20, all the Jats riding their tractors and small vehicles and carrying at least 10-day ration will march towards Delhi on the highways from the neighbouring states," he said. If stopped by the police during their 'Delhi Kooch', the Jats would lay siege and block all the major highways leading to the national capital.

The Jats will camp at the borders of Delhi, and later hold a gherao of the Parliament, Malik said.

Pramod, a protester from Jhajjhar in Haryana said, "My uncle Ramchadra Fauji was killed on 21 February 2016. We want the release of those who are still behind bars."

Another protester, Jagbeer Sing from Hisar in Haryana said, "We are not going to pay our loans, electricity and water bills until our demands are met."

Thousands of Jats from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand and also from the city, in their vehicles, marched towards the Jantar Mantar for 'Jat Nyay Dharna', disrupting traffic in New Delhi area and border points.

The dharna, led by Malik and other Sangharsh Samiti leaders, culminated in a march towards Parliament which forced the Delhi Traffic Police to cordon off Parliament Street.

Heavy traffic was witnessed on several roads including Ashoka Road.

The Sangharsh Samiti leaders also submitted their seven-point charter of demands at the offices of the President and the Prime Minister.

Later, the protesters courted arrest at the Parliament Street police station and insisted that the numbers of those arrested be given in writing.
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