Jat quota stir stalls Haryana; Army conducts flag march

RSTV Bureau
Haryana: Police lathicharge Jat community members  during their agitation for reservation in Rohtak Photo-PTI

Haryana: Police lathicharge Jat community members during their agitation for reservation in Rohtak
Photo-PTI

Normal life in parts of Haryana has come to a standstill as protest by the members of Jat community intensified in last 24 hours. Jat leaders are seeking reservation in government and have refused to withdraw their state wide agitation till a legislation is passed giving reservation to Jats under Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

Earlier in the day, taking stock of the situation, Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar reached out to the protestors in his another appeal to end their agitation.

“I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society,” he shared on a micro blogging site Twitter.

With the law and order situation deteriorating, army has been called by the Haryana government and shoot at sight orders have been issued in two districts.

Army conducted flag march in tense areas and used choppers to reach parts of Rohtak even as incidents of violence and arson by the protesting mob continued at several places overnight despite authorities imposing curfew.

Normal life remained disrupted as protesting Jats continued to block roads and rail routes, affecting the supplies of essential commodities to Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani and other parts of the state.

Army has been called in nine districts of Haryana while curfew was imposed in Bhiwani and Rohtak districts along with shoot-at-sight orders after one person died and 25 were injured during the Jat stir which turned violent with mobs resorting to widespread arson.

The Centre has also rushed 3,300 personnel of paramilitary forces to control the rampaging mob.

Incidents of violence and arson continued at several places during the night even as prohibitory orders remained in place in many places including Hisar, Jhajjar, Jind, Kaithal and Panipat.

In Bhiwani, a contingent of army took out a flag march this morning. The administration has asked people to stay at homes, official sources said.

According to reports, rampaging mobs held some policemen captive besides setting ablaze the house of state’s Finance Minister Abhimanyu and several government and private properties in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Hansi and several other parts of the state.

Schools were ordered to be closed across the state and mobile Internet services were suspended in almost all the districts.

There are reports that police and private vehicles were targeted by the protestors besides buildings, housing offices, two Toll Plazas at Hansi in Hissar district and near Rohtak, both located on the Delhi-Hisar-Fazilka National Highway.

One protestor was killed in Rohtak on Friday when the BSF personnel had opened fire in “self-defence” after someone from the rampaging mob fired at and injured a BSF jawan.

The agitation, which has been going on for last few days, escalated and turned violent soon after an all-party meeting held by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar issued an appeal for calling off.

Rail services are severely hampered on the Delhi-Ambala, Delhi-Amritsar, Delhi-Hisar-Fazilka route, and Hisar-Dhuri sections as agitating jats squatted on railway tracks at few places. As many as 37 trains have been cancelled while 22 have been partially cancelled by the railway authorities.

A number of passenger trains, long distance including super fast passing through or originating in Haryana will remain cancelled today, railway authorities said.

(With inputs from the Agencies)