Jat Quota Violence In Haryana Claims Six Lives

21/02/2016 8:01 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
BAHADURGARH, INDIA - FEBRUARY 20: Jat community members protest demanding reservation in government services on February 20, 2016 in Bahadurgarh, India. A mob of around 10,000 people carrying weapons from the surrounding villages of Rohtak were also seen vandalising private property. Police and army have not been able to reach the area as yet. At least one person was killed and 20 others were injured on Saturday in Haryana's Jhajjar after Indian Army personnel fired on Jat protestors, demanding reservation in jobs and education, turned violent and tried to set government buildings on fire. Jat leaders rejected the offer made by the state government and said that the stir would continue till their demand is met. (Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

CHANDIGARH -- Violence and arson in the Jat quota stir in Haryana spread to more areas today with five people being killed in firing by security forces in three districts taking the death toll to six even as the Army staged flag marches in worst-hit pockets.

As Haryana remained on the boil, several Haryana Roadways buses, seven railway stations, a police station and some buildings were torched by pro-quota protesters. Army had to use choppers to reach parts of blocked Rohtak district.

A milk plant of the Haryana Dairy Corporation (Vita) was set on fire by the protestors at Rohtak. The residents nearby were asked to move out to protect them for possible gas leak from the milk plant, an official spokesman said tonight.

Curfew was clamped in five more towns--the latest one being Jind, Hisar and Hansi. Earlier today, curfew was imposed in Sonipat and Gohana towns of Sonipat district. It was already clamped in Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar towns.

The road and rail traffic through Haryana and destined to neighboring states, including Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Chandigarh remained disrupted with authorities cancelling bus and train services on most routes in the wake of continuing blockade.

An official release said tonight that five persons were killed "when Armed Forces opened fire to quell arson and firing" by the protesters. Fifteen persons, including security personnel, were injured in Rohtak and Jhajjar today, the release said.

The fifth casualty occurred in Kaithal district while earlier in the day deaths of four persons in firing were reported from Jhajjar and Rohtak. One person was killed in firing by BSF in Rohtak yesterday.

As many as 15 companies of India Reserve Battalion and Haryana Armed Police, three companies of paramilitary forces and two columns of Army have already been deployed, the release said.

Among the five dead, three were identified by authorities as Parveen (Jhajjar), Krishan (Jhajjar) and Nitin (Rohtak). The identity of the fourth is not yet known. One unidentified person was killed in firing by BSF yesterday in Rohtak.

The Jat stir has severely hit the movement of more than 800 trains, and seven stations in the state were set on fire by the agitators.

Jhajjar, Buddha Khed, Julana and Pillu Kheda were among the seven stations which were set afire, a Railway spokesperson said, adding that two track machines were also burnt at Pillu Kheda.

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India suspended operations at its two plants in Gurgaon and Manesar as component supplies have been hit by the agitation of Jats demanding job reservation.

In a new twist to the agitation, there were reports of clashes between Jats and non-Jats with 10 persons being injured at Kalayat in Kaithal district and in Hansi area of Hisar district.

Appealing to protesters to end their stir, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar asked agitators to "return to their homes as the Government has accepted their demands", but did not elaborate.

"Such incidents create disharmony," he said here after reviewing the situation with his ministerial colleagues and senior civil and police officers.

But several Jat leaders refused to call off the pro-quota agitation unless the government promulgated an ordinance to include the community in the OBC category.

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