Army personnel were airlifted on Saturday to Haryana’s violence-ridden Rohtak town after Jat protesters dug up roads to block the entry of military units. The army was deployed in agitation-hit districts of Haryana on Friday evening as large-scale violence by Jat community protesters left three people dead in firing by security forces.
BJP invites Jat leaders for talks, backs quota:
BJP lined up Jat leaders to reach out to the community, whose stir in Haryana has shown no signs of a let up amid widespread violence, and invited their representatives to hold talks with party chief Amit Shah and Union ministers.
Concerned over the fallout of the conflagration as the community holds sway in western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and parts of Delhi, Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh held
talks with the party’s Jat faces separately and discussed possible measures to douse the fire.
“In a way, there is an atmosphere of anarchy (in Haryana). I appeal to the people leading the agitation to hold talks with our leadership…. Youths who are at the forefront should also join talks. I appeal, pray to the people of Haryana to maintain peace and harmony,” Union Minister Birender Singh said.
Singh, party’s most notable Jat leader from Haryana, was joined by another Union minister Sanjeev Balyan, who has emerged as the party’s face from the community in western UP,
Haryana cabinet minister O P Dhankar besides party General Secretary and state in-charge Anil Jain.
Trains affected due to Jat Quota Stir:
Nine trains have been cancelled, four partially cancelled, and the route of five others changed
due to Jat agitation in Haryana.
The agitation has affected movement of trains on rail sections falling under Northern Railway and North Western Railway.
The trains which were cancelled are Ahmedabad-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Jodhpur-Delhi Mandore Express, Jodhpur/Bikaner-Delhi Sampark Kranti Express, Udaipur-Delhi Chetak Express, Ajmer-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, Ajmer-Haridwar Express, Ajmer-Amritsar Express, Delhi-Udaipur Chetak Express and Delhi-Bandra Terminus Garibrath Express,
NWR CPRO Tarun Jain said.
Jat Quota Stir reaches Delhi:
Dhansa Stand Chowk, Peeragarhi Chowk completely blocked by Akhil Bhartiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti workers: Delhi Traffic Police
CM Khattar Takes Stock Of Situation, ‘Accepts’ Demands
With the Jat agitation showing no signs of let up, the BJP government in Haryana on Saturday said it has “accepted” the demands of the community which is seeking quota under OBC category.
Appealing to protesters to end their stir, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in a statement here this afternoon asked agitators to “return to their homes as the Government has accepted their demands”, but did not elaborate.
After an all-party meeting yesterday, the Chief Minister had said “a way will be worked out to give reservation to Jats.”
Jats have been demanding quota in jobs and educational institutions under OBC category. The agitators today demanded a “written assurance from the government”, saying they “cannot be befooled with hollow promises every time”.
With Haryana on the boil in the wake of the violent Jat stir, Chief Minister Manohar Lal
Khattar held a key meeting with his ministers and top officials to take stock of the situation.
Apart from Khattar and senior ministers, top bureaucrats including Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Home), State DGP attended the meeting.
Police station, petrol pump set afire in Meham
Tension prevailed in Meham in the district, which has been worst hit by the Jat stir for quota,
after a mob of about 2000-2500 people went on the rampage setting on fire a police station, a petrol pump, a government building and a banquet hall today.
Stones pelted at Haryana Minister Dhankar’s house
Mob pelted stones at the house of senior Haryana Minister O P Dhankar here as the
agitation by Jats demanding quota spread to more areas in the state.
Jat stir: Army conducts flag march in Rohtak, Bhiwani
The Army conducted flag march in Rohtak and Bhiwani where curfew remained in force.
The Army could not enter Rohtak through road as protesters had put up blockades on Delhi, Hisar, Rohtak, and Fazilka highways, forcing the authorities to air drop them, official said.
As the protest intensified, some unidentified persons set on fire the Budha Khera Railway Station in Jind district this morning.
Authorities clamped curfew and issued “shoot-at-sight” orders in the worst-affected Rohtak and Bhiwani districts on Friday evening.
Friday’s violence left three protesters dead and dozens of others injured, police sources said. One person was killed when Border Security Force personnel opened fire in self-defence after being fired upon by a mob. Two other people succumbed to their injuries in hospital after police fired on rampaging mobs. The injured included a BSF trooper.
The unruly mob indulged in arson. A mall in Rohtak town was looted, reports said. A gun house was also looted, police officials said. A toll plaza was set on fire near Rohtak while another one was damaged near Sampla.
The Haryana government called in the army to contain the situation in eight districts severely affected by the ongoing Jat agitation.
Haryana Director General of Police Y.P. Singhal told media in Chandigarh that the army has been sought for Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Panipat, Jind, Kaithal, Bhiwani and Hisar districts.
“… The chief secretary spoke to the army chief. The chief minister (Manohar Lal Khattar) has spoken to defence minister (Manohar Parrikar). The effort is to deploy the army as soon as possible to control the situation,” he said.
About Rohtak, he said: “One person from mob fired on BSF personnel with a home-made weapon. The BSF fired in self defence and one person was killed,” Singhal said, adding that the mob did not allow the injured trooper to taken to hospital initially.
The injured were taken to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak, 75 km from Delhi, police said.
He said that a mob attacked a Haryana Police officer and other policemen near the Maharishi Dayanand University gate and held the hostage and more forces had to be sent to rescue them.
“A leaderless mob is moving through Rohtak town. They came near the Circuit House and damaged the vehicle of the deputy inspector general of police and two other police vehicles and set on fire another police vehicle,” Singhal said.
The mob attacked the office of the DIG, and set the house of Finance Minister Abhimanyu on fire. At some places in the town, black smoke could be seen coming out of property set on fire by the agitators, who even manhandled media persons at some places.
“We are trying to stop the mob,” the police chief said, adding that three companies of paramilitary forces were already stationed and 30 more companies would be deployed soon.
Jat leader Hawa Singg Sangwan said that the youth have taken over the agitation. “They do not have any organised leader and hence the violence is happening. Some mischievous elements have infiltrated the mobs,” he said.
The authorities have also blocked Internet and SMS services in the affected districts.
Thousands of trucks, carrying supplies and goods, were stranded in the affected districts due to highways and roads being blocked. Over 40 trains including express trains like Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi Express, Pashchim Express and others were cancelled by railway authorities across Haryana on Friday as the agitation escalated.
In Gurgaon, Jat protesters blocked roads, leading to traffic jams and chaos in the city, adjoining the national capital.
Life continued to be affected in most parts of Rohtak, Jhajjar Sonipat, Bhiwani, Jind, Hisar and some other districts as the agitation by Jats for reservation in jobs and educational institutions continued for the sixth day on Friday.
The protesters have also blocked railway tracks. Hundreds of railway passengers were stranded as protesters blocked the Delhi-Ambala-Amritsar railway track at Rajlu Garhi village in Sonipat on Friday evening.
The stir escalated even as the Haryana government called an all-party meeting in Chandigarh to discuss the reservation issue and the Jat protests. The meeting urged the protesters to end their agitation and remove blockades.
Jat leaders however rejected the appeal.
After the all-party meeting, Khattar said that his government was “in favour of reservation for Jats in the state and is trying to find out ways and means for the same”.
Referring to statements of BJP’s Kurukshetra MP Raj Kumar Saini, who is opposed to reservation for Jats, Khattar said he had been asked to withdraw his statement. Security had been tightened at Saini’s house in Kurukshetra town.
Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar meanwhile said in Gurgaon that the state government was ready to give special backward class quota to the Jats.
(With agencies input)