Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar called an all-party meeting on Friday morning after protests by the Jat community turned violent in Haryana. Jats have been protesting for the past 5 days demanding reservation for their community in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.
Following the clashes, curfew has been imposed and internet and mobile SMS services have been suspended in Rohtak district.
“Internet and SMS services have been suspended till further orders in Rohtak to maintain law and order,” said Rohtak SP Shashank Anand.
On Thursday, violence erupted after lawyers protesting at the Rohtak district court clashed with city traders over the over issue of non-inclusion of Jats in the OBC category. The traders were holding a march to the police station when the clashes happened. At least 15 people are reported to have been injured.
The administration has imposed prohibitory orders in Rohtak district, banning assembly of five or more persons.
“Section 144 has been imposed with immediate effect from today in Rohtak,” Additional Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has offered to enhance Economically Backward Quota to include Jats but protesters have declined his offer.
“It is not technically viable. It is illegal and cannot be implemented,” Yashpal Malik, National President of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti
The state cabinet has also appealed to the agitating Jats to call off their agitation in the larger interest of the state after meeting Chief Minister Khattar.
“The administration and the police were fully alert to meet any eventuality and the government has kept all its options open to deal with the situation” Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar told reporters after the Cabinet meet.
Police and the paramilitary troops staged a flag-march to clear the protesters who were blocking the roads.
Chief Minister Khattar, has also spoken to former Chief Minister Bupender Hooda who belongs to Rohtak and has sought his opinion on the matter.
(With inputs from PTI)