Haryana Government heeded to the demands for reservation for Jats and four other castes in government jobs and educational institutions. Haryana cabinet passed the bill providing six percent reservation for Jats and four other castes in Class 1 and 2 government jobs. The bill also agreed for 10 percent reservation for the five castes in educational institutions and class 3 and 4 government jobs.
The protestors had declared that they will resume the agitation for the reservation should their demands not be met by the 31st of March which is last day of the Budget Session for the Vidhan Sabha.
A new category has been formed called backward classes 3 and Jats will get reservation under this category. Apart from Jat Sikhs, Bishnois, Tyagis and Rors will also get reservation.
In Haryana under backward classes category 1 and 2 already there is 27 percent reservation.
Jats were demanding reservation in the existing backward classes category. BC-1 category has 16 percent quota and BC-2 category has 11 percent quota.
The Union Government of India and many State Governments provide reservation to few socially backward castes as Other Backward Classes (OBCs). OBCs get 27 percent reservation. Additionally Scheduled Castes (SCs) get another 15 percent reservation while Scheduled Tribes (STs) get additional 7.5 percent reservation quota. This totals to 49.5 percent reservation.
Supreme Court has ruled that reservation can't be more than 50 percent and thus governments are not able to provide any more reservation to any other caste.
Jats have been seeking reservation under OBC category and they form a major chunk of population in Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Jats are conventionally an agrarian community. Before the 2016 protest in Haryana Jats already have been included in OBC category in states like Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Jats from Bharatpur and Dholpur districts do not get OBC status in Rajasthan as both former kingdoms had Jat kings.
Congress Government of Rajasthan was the first government to give reservation to Jats. They got reservation in the state in the year 1999.
Guidelines for providing reservation quota:
The National Commission for Backward Classes provides certain guidelines for a caste to be included in OBC category. The guidelines are:
1. Only a caste that is considered socially backward by other castes can be included.
2. The non-enrollement rate in school for a particular caste should be at least 25 percent more than the state average.
3. The particular caste should own less than 25 percent of the average assets owned by average family in the state.
Jat reservation protest:
Sarva Jat Khap Pnachayat in January 2016 made plans to start protests demanding reservation quota for Jats in Haryana. They organised road and rail blocks. Initial protests were non violent however on 18th February 35 non-Jat castes organised counter protest against blockades put up by the Jats.
The group attacked lawyers who were protesting against JNU row mistaking them as Jat protestors. This spread violence though the state and vehicles were set to fire and businesses were damaged. Railway tracks were damaged and uprooted and highways were blocked.
Protestors also blocked water canals resulting in severe water crisis in NCR and Delhi. As per the Chief Minister of Haryana property worth Rs. 200 billion was damaged and 12 people lost their lives. Army and Paramilitary Forces had to be called to bring the situation in control.