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Jats threaten to resume quota stir as their 72-hour deadline ends tonight
A report on Thursday said that the bill promised by the Haryana government for granting reservation to the Jat community in government jobs and educational institutions has been delayed. The reason assigned for the delay is that the state authorities could not reach a consensus on the modalities of the Jat Reservation Bill, promised by the ML Khattar-led government of Haryana.

In the meanwhile, in wake of the 72-hour deadline given by the Jats expiring tonight, security has been beefed up in sensitive towns of Haryana. The Jat leaders had threated to resume their agitation if the BJP-led Haryana government does not meet their demands by March 17.

ML Khattar government has already requested the Centre for deployment of paramilitary forces across the state. BJPs ML Khattar government has said that it would not be held hostage to the midnight deadline, although it remains committed to providing reservation to the Jats.

A ban has been imposed on large groups gathering in the town of Jind. Colleges have been closed for rest of the week. In Rohtak, which was the central boiling point of the Jat protests, the Army today carried out a flag march, signaling that the Army was on stand-by to uphold law and order.

The authorities have also said that internet and phone services might be disconnected in Rohtak, if the need arises.

Barely three weeks ago almost 30 people were killed and property worth thousands of crore was gutted in fire by the agitating Jats demanding reservation.

In its ruling last year, the Supreme Court had said that the Jats were not a backward community, so did not require reservation. The state of Haryana has already reached the 50 per cent cap on the quotas allowed by the apex court for the Other Backward Classes (OBC), Schedule Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST).

The Haryana government says that it will not include the Jats in the 27 per cent quota which is reserved for the OBCs, as it fears protests from other communities which are already included in the category. Instead the state government wants to include the Jats and four other communities in a new category of Special Backward Castes (SBC).

Jats who form almost a third of the voters in Haryana, have provided most of the chief ministers to the state. The previous Congress government had also tried to bring about such a bill, but it was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, as it was exceeding the 50 per cent cap imposed by the Supreme Court. 

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