Jat quota leader firm on stir relaunch from August 16
Jat quota leader Yashpal Malik is firm on relaunching the agitation on the issue on August 16, a day before the start of the monsoon session of the state Assembly.
Malik said on Wednesday that the strategy for the agitation would be planned at Jassia on August 12 after a meeting with the members of the community.
“We have a bhaichara sammelan at Samalkha in Panipat on Thursday, at Gohana in Sonipat on August 10, at Jhajjar on August 11 and at Jassia in Rohtak on August 12 where we will finalise our strategy for the August 16 agitation,” Malik said.
Expressing displeasure over the Haryana Government’s stand on not withdrawing cases against members of the Jat community related to the February 2016 violence, Malik alleged that the government was deliberately delaying these issues in court.
He said that perhaps the state government wants the Jat agitation to take the shape of the Maratha agitation for reservation.
Meanwhile, well-placed sources in the state police maintained that the proposed agitation is unlikely to attract much support this time.
Once the central government has passed the Bill to accord constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes, nothing is left for the agitation, said sources.
The sources, however, said that in case the agitators tried to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state, they would be dealt with sternly.
“They demanded reservation. The government has already legislated an Act for this purpose. The Act has been struck down by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Similarly, they demanded withdrawal of criminal cases. The government has already withdrawn nearly 2,000 out of 2,200-odd cases. However, no government can take back cases of murder or burning of the property of others,” said sources. Sources believe that the support base of quota leaders has depleted considerably after the February 2016 violence and they are unlikely to get support from the masses this time.
Is Jat reservation demand right?
Farmers protest delay in payment of sugarcane dues
Fumed over the delay in payment of sugarcane dues and construction of a new sugar mill, farmers under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union staged a dharna outside the residence of Karnal MP Ashwini Chopra here on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, their dharna outside the Karnal Co-operative Sugar Mill here entered 17th day on Wednesday. In support of their demands, 39 women farmers led by Neelam Rana, district president, women cell of the BKU, courted arrest, while farmers led by BKU state president Rattan Mann staged a dharna outside the residence of Karnal MP.
They submitted a memorandum to the representative of the MP demanding that Chopra should raise the issue of sugarcane farmers in Parliament. Before staging the dharna, they took out a procession in the city. The women farmers protested with bangles in their hands.
Neelam said that they were demanding their payment which was not cleared so far by the government even after three months of the procurement of their sugarcane.
She said that the farmers had been staging dharna for the last 17 days and not even a single MLA had come to meet them. Mann said, “We will continue our fight till we get justice.” Harvinder Kalyan, Gharaunda MLA and HAFED Chairman, said that the government had already released Rs 200 crore for clearing the pending amount of the farmers and paper work for the construction of new sugar mill was underway. Tenders for the new sugar mill would be floated soon, he said.
Is the farmers protest fair?
Roadways staff stir leaves commuters high and dry
The one-day ‘chakka jam’ on Tuesday by Haryana Roadways (HR) employees’ unions against the reported opening up of the public transport sector to private players by Manohar Lal Khattar government left over 33 lakh commuters across the state at the mercy of private transporters.
With over 4,000 HR buses off the roads, commuters were a harassed lot with operators of over 1,000 private buses and thousands of maxi-cabs and three-wheelers across the state making a quick buck.
Safety norms were thrown to the winds, with commuters having no option but to use overloaded maxi-cabs, private buses and three-wheelers. However, private transport still fell short of needs of the people, who had a harrowing time in getting conveyance in the sultry weather.
“I have to go Kurukshetra University, but am facing problems due to the strike. I was not aware of this strike earlier,” complained Surinder Kumar, a student from Karnal.
In routine, over 20 lakh commuters across Haryana are at the mercy of unsafe and unreliable transport such as maxi-cabs and three-wheelers daily as HR buses and private buses can cater to the needs of only about 12.5 lakh of the 33 lakh commuters (37.8 per cent).
Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar said action would be initiated against the drivers recruited this year who were on probation if they went on strike. If any employee who was on probation joined the strike, his services could be terminated, he added.
The Haryana Government had recently decided to add 650 buses to its fleet of around 4,100 buses by entering into an agreement with private parties on km basis.
Transport unions had been opposing the addition of 650 buses to the HR fleet, arguing that this would open the public transport sector to private players. Today’s ‘chakka jam’ was part of the agitation by unions.
“There is no proposal to privatise roadways services. About 500 buses of the department and 950 buses of cooperative societies are plying smoothly in the state. I am in constant touch with officers and the government is making concerted efforts to ensure that people do not face any inconvenience,” said Panwar.
The Sarv Karamchari Sangh, apex body of state government employees, claimed that the strike was almost complete, with over 4,000 HR buses remaining off the roads.
The unions would organise district-level protests on Thursday if the show-cause notices issued to certain drivers by the Transport Department were not withdrawn by Wednesday, said Subhash Lamba, general secretary of the sangh.
A majority of the HR buses remained off the roads in Karnal, Kaithal, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Fatehabad and Ambala districts. While the strike evoked a poor response in Jhajjar, it the response was a mixed one in Panipat district.
Why the protest
Transport unions are opposing the addition of 650 buses to the Haryana Roadways fleet, arguing that it will open the public transport sector to private players. The Haryana Government had recently decided to add 650 buses to its fleet of around 4,100 buses by entering into an agreement with private parties on km basis.
The day in numbers
- Over 4,000 Haryana Roadways buses stay off roads
- Operators of over 1,000 private buses make a killing
- Good day for thousands of maxi-cabs, three-wheelers
- A total of 33 lakh passengers daily commuters in state
- HR buses, private buses cater to 12.5 lakh commuters
Is the roadways employees' strike is justified?
Woman among two held for blackmail
Had demanded Rs 1 cr from trader after honey trapping him
The local police have arrested two persons, including a woman, in connection with allegedly blackmailing a businessman with the threat of a rape case after honey trapping him.
The accused are part of a gang whose five members are absconding. The arrested members have admitted to blackmailing at least three victims and extorting over Rs 25 lakh from them after threatening them with registration of rape cases in the past nine months.
Two members had been arrested a few months ago. A Crime Branch team led by Inspector Navin Kumar managed to arrest one Rambir, a resident of Nangal Jat village of Palwal, on Monday and Hina (name changed), a resident of Gurugram on Tuesday.
The gang lured victims either on phone or through internet. Ramesh Kumar, a businessman from Hodal, fell into the trap when he was “abducted” after he agreed to meet a woman on October 16, 2017. Kumar was taken to a house in Sector 92 of Noida where he was told to shell Rs 1 crore for not lodging a rape complaint against him on basis of a clip prepared in an objectionable condition.
Kumar was reportedly “let off” after he gave Rs 16 lakh. He lodged a complaint on November 6, 2017, for blackmailing and extortion.