In the wake of the agitating Jats in Haryana threatening to lay siege to Delhi next week, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today formed a three-member panel and invited the community leaders for a fresh round of talks at Panipat tomorrow. "The Chief Minister has formed a three-member panel to negotiate with Jat protesters.
It will be led by state Cabinet Minister Ram Bilas Sharma," a state government spokesperson said. "The other two members of the panel are, Krishan Bedi, a state minster, and Kamal Gupta, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary and an MLA from Hisar," the spokesperson said. "The talks will be held with an open mind," Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas said. Last month, talks between the protesters and a five-member committee, which included the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), remained inconclusive. Earlier this month, the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), spearheading the agitation, had announced to lay siege to the national capital from March 20 if their demands for reservation in government jobs and education institutes are not met. AIJASS president Yashpal Malik had claimed that around 8 to 10 lakh Jat community members from Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are expected to reach Delhi in tractor-trolleys on March 20 in support of their demands. Niwas said the Delhi Government has imposed a ban on entry of tractor-trolleys and elaborate arrangements have been made in Haryana to maintain law-and-order in the state. As many as 49 companies of paramilitary forces have reached Haryana and a total of 101 companies have been deputed in the state, he said. Jats have been sitting on dharna in various parts of Haryana since January 29 over their demands. Besides seeking quota, the demands of the Jats include release of those jailed during last year's agitation, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured while taking part in the stir. During the stir in February last year, 30 people were killed and property worth crores of rupees was damaged.