A total of 28 people died, over 200 persons got injured, an estimated loss of 40,000 Crore was recorded, thousands of trains got cancelled, the country’s capital remained devoid of water for many days and countless people in Haryana and NCR were held in agony and distress. This all happened when the Jat community protested for demanding an inclusion in other backward class list.
The history of demand for Jat reservation in Haryana dates back to 1991 when the Gurnam Singh Commission report recommended of including Jats of Haryana in the state’s OBC list. Then Congress State Government did not implement these recommendations. Later on, two subsequent OBC commission of the state did not recommend so. Congress promised Jat reservation in 2005 assembly election. Congress won in the state consequently in 2005 and 2009 but the issue of Jat reservation was kept on hold. Just before 2014 general election congress govt in the state included Jats in newly constituted SBC and granted them an additional 10% quota. Similarly, in a hurried move congress govt at centre included jats from 9 states in central OBC quota. The inability of the state which was majorly ruled by congress and mostly ruled by Jat chief minister to solve the Jat reservation issue was evident. Moreover, this inconsistency of Jat reservation speaks volume about the intent of congress to use Jat as a political tool at their disposal.
Primed by Modi’s campaign marathon, BJP engineered a consolidation of non-jat votes in 2014 state election. It got the perfect landing when BJP won 47 out of 90 seats and decimated the other two main political parties of the state. BJP’s first-time government in the state was seriously lacking the administrative experience. The first time legislative CM did not help the cause either. It was an opportunity given on platter to the miscreants for upsetting the socio-economic ambience of the state.
With BJP govt Haryana got its first Non-Jat CM in 18 years. It was an expected move as far as the mandate was concerned but it was enough to rattle the Jat community. Jats in Haryana used to decide the chief ministers. They are powerful, wealthy, huge in numbers and influential. The sudden change in socio-political equation of the state was a threat to the prowess of Jat community. The hard headed Jats united by the Khaps was no less than time bomb. All it required was a trigger.
On 19th February 2016, all of India was in utter disbelief when thousand of protestor from Jat community broke into the state finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu’s house (a jat himself) and set his home on fire. The protestors set a mall on fire and looted guns and ammunitions. The mockery of the state administration continued throughout the day when mob targeted police vehicles, reportedly held policemen captive, looted homes and shops, blocked train tracks and roads. These violent protestors were demanding reservation for their community. It is important to remind that Rohtak was the home constituency of former congress chief minister Bhupender singh Hooda.
Rohtak remained an epicentre as the protest escalated rapidly in other strong hold areas of Jats. The scale of protest soon turned out humongous which threatened even the national capital. Such an impactful protest of such a massive level requires a battery of skilful masterminds with equally good organisers.
The motive behind these violent protests are very clear. No, it has nothing to do with reservation. It has partially to do with the willingness to unleash the raw energy to counterbalance the perception of reducing prowess of Jats in the state. But it has mostly to do with looting goods, ransacking properties, robbing shops and plundering non-jat installations.
Beside motive, the other vital element of a crime is causation. On 21st February 2016, a video clip surfaced in which Professor Virender, the former political advisor of Bhupender Hooda, was heard asking the captain (captain Maan? ) to ramp up violence while commending the work done so far in Deshwal belt (comprises of Rohtak, jind and Sonepat ). Professor had admitted that it was his voice in the tape. Haryana state congress president issued a show cause notice to Virender. This audio tape clearly points out that the protestors were instigated for violence.
The other two questions rising directly from this tape. Why Virender would do it alone ? Can Virender do it alone? Hooda is reeling under the heat of CBI inquiry for the illegal allotment of plots in Panchkula. The momentum for inquiry in land allotment for National Herald is gaining. In the same city Captain Abhimanyu’s house was looted, ransacked and burnt while Hooda properties were left untouched. Hooda was doing fast for peace in Delhi when his hometown was burning. These circumstances strongly indicates Hooda’s involvement in the violence.
Now the larger questions are following :
Is Hooda pursuing his personal battle with the Jat Reservation Row ?
Is it a political conspiracy of congress to tame down the incumbent govt ?
Or Both ?
As things stand today nothing can be proved in the court of law due to serious lack of evidence. However, as the state is crawling back to normalcy and govt accepting almost all demands of protesters, a heavy crackdown is imminent which will get hold of perpetrators and uncover the conspiracy.