Jat quota stir: Death toll at 6, curfew in 4 towns, Army out across Haryana

Eight rail stations set on fire, tracks uprooted, affecting 800 trains travelling to and from Haryana.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Updated: February 21, 2016 8:10 pm
The national highway blocked at Kondli, Sonipat. (Source: Express photo by Anil Sharma) The national highway blocked at Kondli, Sonipat. (Source: Express photo by Anil Sharma)

Five protesters were killed in firing by security forces in Haryana on Saturday, taking the toll from the Jat quota agitation to six since Friday, the state police said on Saturday evening. There remained some confusion about the actual number of dead and injured, however — and it appeared that actual casualties could be up to 10.

The deaths on Saturday occurred “when armed forces opened fire to quell arson and firing” by the protesters, an official release said. Four people died in Jhajjar and one in Kaithal. Fifteen people, including security personnel, were injured, the release said.

Visuals Of The Jat Agitation, Rapid Action Force & Central Reserve Police Force

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Two more cities were put under curfew and the Army deployed over more areas. Chief Minister M L Khattar tweeted an appeal for harmony and law and order, and subsequently asked protesters to “return to their homes as the Government has accepted their demands”, but did not elaborate.

Shoot-at-sight orders in Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Jind and Hisar failed to curb the protests as agitated mobs went on the rampage for the second straight day. Several buses were set on fire in Rohtak, Jind, Panipat, Sonipat and Kaithal. Scores of shops, restaurants and hotels were set on fire in Rohtak and Jhajjar.

Also read: No power, no food, no water; total anarchy in Rohtak

After Rohtak and Bhiwani on Friday, curfew was imposed on Saturday in Sonipat and Jhajjar. Thirteen columns of the Army were deployed in eight districts, and 30 companies of paramilitary forces were called out in 10 districts.

The Army, police and paramilitary forces conducted flag marches in eight districts, and warned protesters to go back home or face serious consequences. In Rohtak, the Army column stayed away from Gate No. 2 of Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), as hundreds of armed Jat youths laid siege to the area, and ignored warnings to leave.

A senior official of the State Bank of Patiala told The Sunday Express that a mob was trying to lynch the security guard at a branch of the bank in Jhajjar. “One of our security guards opened fire on the mob that was attacking the branch,” Hari Das, chief general manager of the bank, said. “Apparently the bullet hit one of the protesters, who subsequently died. The mob set fire to the branch, and the guard is trapped inside. The mob is trying to catch hold of him and kill him. He has run out of ammunition. We have spoken with senior police officers, who say Jhajjar is now under the Army’s control.”

Eight railway stations were set on fire on Saturday, and tracks uprooted, including on the New Delhi-Chandigarh stretch. A total 810 trains travelling to and through Haryana were affected, and 527 were cancelled. Many others were diverted or terminated short of their destinations, the Railways said.

Dozens of buses and government and private properties were set on fire. Traffic on the Delhi-Chandigarh stretch of NH 1 was blocked at several places, and the toll plaza at Panipat was torched. As train and road traffic remained paralysed, airfares to and from Chandigarh zoomed, rising, in some cases, to over Rs 30,000 for a flight to Delhi.

The national capital also stared at a potential water crisis if the situation in Haryana was not brought under control rapidly. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Water Minister Kapil Mishra took up the matter with union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday evening.

Maruti Suzuki suspended operations at its plants in Gurgaon and Manesar on account of component supplies being hit due to the agitation, a spokesperson for the country’s biggest automaker said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education cancelled the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) in Haryana scheduled for Sunday due to “administrative difficulties”. CTET was scheduled to be held across 80 cities, six of which were in Haryana. Nearly 71,000 candidates were expected to take the test in Ambala, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Karnal, Kurukshetra and Panchkula.

For the second day in a row, mobs targeted Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu’s palatial residence in Rohtak. A number of vehicles, including Abhimanyu’s Mercedes, parked inside the house, were set on fire. The protesters also stoned minister Om Prakash Dhankar’s house in Jhajjar; no one was, however, injured.

The state police have so far failed to identify, or even assess, the quantity of arms and ammunition looted from an arms shop in Rohtak on Friday night. “An arms shop was looted but its quantity cannot be estimated,” said Yash Pal Singal, Director General of Police.

Despite Singal’s claim that the situation was slowly coming under control, reports of violence continued to pour in all day from at least eight districts — Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Jind, Kaithal, Sonipat, Panipat and Hisar. The clampdown on the Internet and social networking sites continued for the second day in the affected districts. Chief Minister Khattar on Saturday asked all 47 BJP MLAs to go to their constituencies and make efforts to maintain peace and harmony.

In the morning, Khattar posted on Twitter: “I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.”

(With ENS, New Delhi)

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First Published on: February 21, 2016 4:15 am
  1. P
    Panakj Mishra
    Feb 21, 2016 at 4:49 am
    now the people of north India will feel the pain of Kashmiri and Northeastern state where AFSPA is imposed to run the government.... when a kashmiri raise voice against governmemt then you people said that the are anti-nationalist.... now consider your pain and then think about their misery in that places.
    Reply
    1. A
      Amit Bhardwaj
      Feb 21, 2016 at 4:21 am
      End quota system.....why do we need quota system if we are living in One India One Nation Just go back in the history and We don't even know how many people died or killed because of quota system Very sad
      Reply
      1. B
        bonku
        Feb 21, 2016 at 12:15 am
        It's a very troubling symptom that Indian Govt and state Govt are using army for almost every law and order issue. It has a long term. consequence and also destroy Army's neutrality, efficacy and corruption. Army must not be there to do police job.
        Reply
        1. M
          Maniktripathy
          Feb 21, 2016 at 3:30 am
          Douche bags and if this is not "anti-national" what will consute one....
          Reply
          1. M
            MyTake
            Feb 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm
            All properties of Jats should be confiscated and redistributed equally among them after paying for the damages they caused.
            Reply
            1. M
              MyTake
              Feb 21, 2016 at 3:15 am
              Congress made sure India has caste but no people and it got it!
              Reply
              1. M
                MyTake
                Feb 20, 2016 at 11:52 pm
                Invite some Police from outside may be from some friendly African countries (on charge) who can take of the issue with neutral approach, not knowing what local rules and regulations are. That what colonial power used to do, take the law enforcement agencies from source not familiar with the area, hence, fully concentrated on doing their job at hand.
                Reply
                1. M
                  MyTake
                  Feb 21, 2016 at 2:49 am
                  Its the problem of Indian Pandits own creation which has now cornered its own people forcing them to ask for little things for survival. Having a visionary leader in power with its "Skill India", "Stand up India" policies, opportunities are where they should have gone asking application/funding of projects for their or for that matter any other communities interests. This would have allowed them to live with dignity and not contempt of the onlookers/neighbours! crisis? Yes, its a payment of one sixth of sin of leaders as the Shastra says. Usually there is no escape from Prioschitta that one has to perform to get over it.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    MyTake
                    Feb 20, 2016 at 11:53 pm
                    Premium for Nehruvian Social Engineering Comprehensive Insurance.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      MyTake
                      Feb 20, 2016 at 11:56 pm
                      Why the Indians are always so busy fighting for smaller causes when there are so many bigger causes to fight for? Consequences of of Nehruvian Social Engineering again?
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        shakeel
                        Feb 21, 2016 at 2:17 am
                        To my learned friends this issue was raised by BJP in 1999 election now they are paying the price there is a saying in urdu if you dig for others you will fall in it so Bjp will have to pay price for it if this p other will follow I really don't know where we are going mera desh hai mahan
                        Reply
                        1. Y
                          Yogesh
                          Feb 21, 2016 at 4:38 am
                          The curse of sikular vote bank implemented by Congress for decades and decades
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            ajay
                            Feb 21, 2016 at 3:17 am
                            Mistake of politician . Why inequality among people . Aaj jat aae hai , kal patel, rajput brahmin etc aaenge . Fir uske bad sc/st kota ki mang hogi . NEVER ENDING PROCESS HAI YE TO . Problem ye hai generalization kar di hai government ne . Garib keval SC/ST/OBC hote hai government ke hisab se . Agar government caste ke base par discrimination karegi , then ye hoga hi. Its not new , jha bhi inequality hogi vo country stable nahi ban sakta . Agar ye aandolan band bhi ho jata hai , then or bhi aandolan hone . Kaam asa karna chaie jis se or logo ko discrimination na lage and unke adhikar (basic rights) ko exploit nahi kiya jae ...
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              aw
                              Feb 21, 2016 at 8:02 pm
                              This is the politics of HOODA Ji to make him self relavant by arm twisting BJP thru flexing his JAT muscles ? Why have the congress done no reservation for JATS in last 60 years ? I doubt if the reservation in educational insutions would encourage JATS to follow the scholarly pursuits or continue chasing their buffalos herds in the university premises? For JOBS the JATS are too independent to work under any body ? The agitation is conducted as the behest and costs of CONGRESS PARTY
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                Binu Mathew Varghese
                                Feb 21, 2016 at 3:47 am
                                Now the Jat's, earlier Patels and Kapus. Due to increasing unemployment all need to get guaranteed jobs by reservation. So if other castes and communities also follow the suit pan India where will it stop. Why the parliament can bring a consutional amendment in consensus with all political parties to stop caste based reservation and start financial based ? Has any party opened its mouth the underprivileged in general category ?Do they don't have consutional rights for education and jobs and promotions ? Even the educated youth are fighting for reservation. Why because they don't have faith in them. The media is also silent on the issue. Wake up India wake up
                                Reply
                                1. B
                                  Binu Mathew Varghese
                                  Feb 21, 2016 at 3:48 am
                                  Now the Jat's, earlier Patels and Kapus. Due to increasing unemployment all need to get guaranteed jobs by reservation. So if other castes and communities also follow the suit pan India where will it stop. Why the parliament can bring a consutional amendment in consensus with all political parties to stop caste based reservation and start financial based ? Has any party opened its mouth the underprivileged in general category ?Do they don't have consutional rights for education and jobs and promotions ? Even the educated youth are fighting for reservation. Why because they don't have faith in them. The media is also silent on the issue. Wake up India wake up
                                  Reply
                                  1. B
                                    Binu Mathew Varghese
                                    Feb 21, 2016 at 3:49 am
                                    Then why other parties are not opposing it
                                    Reply
                                    1. K
                                      Kaliyug
                                      Feb 21, 2016 at 5:31 pm
                                      The army is not required in this situation, the corrupt politicians and their supporters need to be jailed and flogged for this incidence. Let India give FREE education to everyone, the rest is up to the people what they make out of it, this quota is a permanent curse on India and democracy. The quota system only benefits the thieves in Indian politics, they divide and steal from everyone.
                                      Reply
                                      1. J
                                        Jasinder Singh Dhillon
                                        Feb 22, 2016 at 12:02 am
                                        As potion of india is not going to stop in near future, their will be stiff compeion for every job in coming years. govt has to address this serious issue. cast should not be base for job guarantee rather economical situation of family irrespective pf cast. present reservation system is dividing India very badly, it must go away.
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          P.THAPAR
                                          Feb 21, 2016 at 2:24 am
                                          THESE AGITATORS ARE WORST THAN ISIS.CRUSH WITH IRON HAND,NO MERCY ON THESE PERSONS DESTROYING NATIONAL PROPERTIES,GOLDEN CHANCE TO ABOLISH ALL TYPES OF RESERVATIONS IN ONE STROKE.BJP MAY LOSE SOME VOTES,BUT CAN SAVE INDIA FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.CRUSH CRISH CRUSH W INDIA WITH YOU.
                                          Reply
                                          1. B
                                            babu
                                            Feb 21, 2016 at 2:55 am
                                            Modee it is right time for you to deposit 50.000 rs to every hindu at least
                                            Reply
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