Jat quota stir turns into inter-caste violence: 4 non-Jats killed, shops burnt as per owner caste

Jhajjar mortuary records caste of dead: 2 Sainis, 1 Kumhar, 1 Halwai, 3 Jats; SP says he hasn’t seen Haryana so divided; 3 Jat bystanders killed in police firing.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | Jhajjar | Rohtak | Updated: February 24, 2016 6:24 am
Selective burning Jat-owned Haryana Book Depot spared, shops on either side set ablaze, in Jhajjar. Ravi Kanojia Selective burning Jat-owned Haryana Book Depot spared, shops on either side set ablaze, in Jhajjar. Ravi Kanojia

In the line of six shops at Chhavani Mohalla in Jhajjar where Jat protesters seeking quotas went on the rampage Sunday, only one, the Jat-owned shop, has been left untouched: Sri Om Hooda Electricals. The other five, belonging to Sainis and Nais, were allegedly set ablaze by the Jats. And at the main market, there is nothing left of the shops on either side of Haryana Book Depot. Mostly shoe shops, owned by Sainis and Punjabis, they were set on fire Saturday. The bookstore belongs to a Jat.

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If property targeted was by caste, so was life. At the Jhajjar civil hospital, seven post-mortem examinations have been conducted so far. Four were killed over the weekend, including one who was axed to death before his family, said the next of kin. In the mortuary register, each name has an address — and caste.

According to hospital entries examined by The Indian Express, two were identified as Sainis, one as Kumhar, the fourth Halwai and the remaining three Jats. Other critical cases have been referred to Rohtak’s PGI hospital. Sources said the administration sought a list of the dead and the caste of each.

The Jat quota protests have opened this glaring divide as it has now acquired violent, caste overtones with Jat protesters turning their ire on non-Jats, mostly OBCs in these parts, say police and officials.

Conceding that the Jat quota agitation has taken a violent caste turn, Jhajjar SP Sumit Kumar told The Indian Express: “It all started with Jats torching shops belonging to Punjabis and Sainis. In retaliation, the two communities, along with others, vandalised the Chhotu Ram dharamshala of the Jat community. Following this, the Jats attacked Chhavani Mohalla, burnt shops and killed people. We have never seen this kind of violence and divide among castes in Haryana. But normalcy is gradually being restored.”

In Chhavani Mohalla, where the OBCs are in majority, residents said the Jats came around 1 pm Sunday, identified shops, vehicles and homes of Sainis, Nais and other backward castes before looting and torching them. The men were carrying countrymade guns, axes, swords, iron rods, Molotov cocktails made from Old Monk rum bottles. The properties of Jats were spared.

Soon, the mob began to kill.

Shamlal Singh, a Saini employed with PWD as beldar, was allegedly dragged out of his house and hacked to death, said members of his family who watched helplessly from the terrace. His son Hemant, who cleared Class XII recently, said the family has no land. “I will have to quit studies as I am the only son. I have to find work to feed my family of four. Why kill us? Are we going to get them reservation?”

Krishan Saini, 45, was returning home from his two-acre farm that kept his family of six going. Before he could realise what was happening, a bullet pierced his chest. His son Harish, who rushed towards him, said he was also fired at but survived.

Family of Krishan Saini who was killed in the violence. Ravi Kanojia Family of Krishan Saini who was killed in the violence. Ravi Kanojia

“We kept calling the police but no one came. We waited for the Army too. We later learnt that they hadn’t been informed of the killings here. It only goes to show that all this happened with the consent of some one in the government,” Krishan’s brother Mahavir Saini alleged. “Or some looked the other way.”

Om Prakash, a Kumhar who is the mohalla potter, lost his 25-year-old son Virender Friday. A car mechanic, Virender was found dead at a blockade set up by Jats on Gawalison Road, about 5 km away. His skull had been split with an axe.

“We were about to get him married. That evening, he was perhaps going to repair someone’s vehicle. He never returned. The next day, a mob came very close to our house. They were shouting ‘Jat Ekta Zindabad’. The mob vandalised our neighbour’s property. On Sunday, they began to kill,” Om Prakash said.

Jhajjar civil hospital records show that several from Chhavani Mohalla sustained injuries from sharp weapons or pellets. “I could barely save my family. As many as 50 men broke into my house and began vandalising, looting. They then set my house on fire. I hid with my children and wife on the terrace,” said Amit Saini, an advocate.

Violence in Jhajjar picked up Saturday when Jat protesters began burning shops of OBCs and Punjabis in the main market. Securitymen who arrived on the scene opened fire, killing three Jat youths. Pradeep, Sandeep and Arjun were all in their early 20s.

Their family members, who had gathered Tuesday at the PGI mortuary in Rohtak to claim the bodies, said the young men were protesting peacefully “when some commotion happened” and securitymen opened fire.

Sandeep and Arjun belonged to Akheri Madanpur while Pradeep was from Kablana. From farmer families with small land holdings, they were counting on reservation to get them government jobs.

“Arjun was studying to be a graduate. What did he want after all? Quota. For that, they killed him. Are they not supposed to first fire below the waist,” his brother Bhagat Singh, who was part of the protest, said.

Among the dead at Jhajjar market were Dinesh Pandit, 25, and Krishna Kumar, 45. Both were bystanders. While Pandit was a Halwai from Chhara Chungi in Jhajjar, Kumar was a Jat from MP Majra village. Both had come to the market to buy medicine.

Krishna Kumar’s brother Captain Rajendra Singh, who retired from the Army, said this has only hardened their resolve for quota. “The government is playing games with us. The politicians are trying to pit one caste against another. But our demands are genuine. Today, Sainis have all the land while we are struggling for jobs,” he said.

At the PGI hospital, another Jat family stares at a dark future. Dilbagh Singh, 35, was killed by securitymen during a protest on NH1 in Sonipat Monday. “His father died a few years ago and he would till land to support his mother, wife and three children. Now there is no man left in the family,” a relative said.

Meanwhile, three bodies lie unclaimed at the Jhajjar civil hospital. A nurse said no one knows who they are: “They look very poor. Nobody has come to claim the bodies. They seem to be migrant labour hands, perhaps caught in the crossfire.”

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First Published on: February 24, 2016 3:53 am
  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Feb 24, 2016 at 3:54 am
    This is the situation (innocent people got killed on the basis of their low caste) when traditionally high caste groups are not given reservation and one can imagine this will reinforce the power dynamics !! Why not suprene court take heed and file sou moto when the state and centre are not able to control the situation.
    Reply
    1. V
      Vivekananda
      Feb 24, 2016 at 2:12 am
      For 3000 years the brahmins have used the same strategy: pit castes against castes and Hindus against other religion. They have been using the armies to macre. Awake and not stop till the goal is reached.
      Reply
      1. M
        Maneesh Kumar
        Feb 24, 2016 at 4:46 pm
        Very good reporting of the Jat caste uproar, loot, arson, murders, bers, disruption of rail, road, etc.
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          Feb 24, 2016 at 6:07 am
          Isn't this what Congress wanted? Now they have taken the fight to Parliament through JNU and blocking of its function! Wait for this session to find out.
          Reply
          1. M
            MyTake
            Feb 24, 2016 at 6:12 am
            People are also stupid when vote in block of caste and religion. But after all they also have to suffer for of karma of their leaders.
            Reply
            1. M
              MyTake
              Feb 24, 2016 at 2:20 am
              Congi and Leftie want more caste/teligion politics?
              Reply
              1. M
                MyTake
                Feb 24, 2016 at 2:18 am
                Ill conceived policies give immature results! Now people paying the price!
                Reply
                1. M
                  MyTake
                  Feb 24, 2016 at 2:15 am
                  Premium for Nehruvian "social Engineering insurance"!
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vish
                    Feb 24, 2016 at 9:32 am
                    Nehru and his litter divide and rule policies are biting us and dividing Hindus. I wish one of killed was nehru's litter.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Avi
                      Feb 24, 2016 at 9:48 am
                      Anyone taking law in their hands should be punished! It seems Congress can't stay away from power. Bad losers! they are dividing the country.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Abhiyan
                        Feb 24, 2016 at 1:40 am
                        All these people from different casts, otherwise would be true nationalists and goumata protectors, I presume. The haryana govt is a real progressive one. Look how fast they banned beef on coming to power as they had promised. Killing each other is OK, but goumata we will protect.
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Abhijit Bhattacharya
                          Feb 24, 2016 at 11:09 am
                          Right now Godse is in power and not Nehru.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Abhijit Bhattacharya
                            Feb 24, 2016 at 11:06 am
                            What about the responsibility of the pseudo-patriotic khatara government? What were they doing? Agitating near JNU or counting used condoms?
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Abhivadan Vashisht
                              Feb 24, 2016 at 4:30 am
                              This proves that they are really backward in every sense of the word. Filthy people good for nothing.
                              Reply
                              1. N
                                Naveen Bhardwaj
                                Feb 26, 2016 at 12:56 am
                                As per the reports........ it is all an issue of Jaat vs. Non-Jat........ Few must know that in Rohtak, there are educational insutions in the name of Jaat College, Gaur College, Saini School, Vaish College........ These names suggest, Youths are taught to be divided......... Why not Government ask them to change name of these insutions........?
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  Ajay Lingayat
                                  Feb 25, 2016 at 5:58 am
                                  3rd cl zaatu cast
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    Ashwani Aggarwal
                                    Feb 24, 2016 at 4:56 am
                                    Mindset of Divide And Rule inherited from British Colonial Masters. Britishers used to keep , at Railway stations , Two separate Drinking Water pots :- Hind u Paaani , Muslim Paani . Result , in 1947 , Parion. -------------- Every where burning / Looting shops / factories etc. Govt.s dependent , entirely ,on Taxes paid by these Business men. No Protection or Respect for those who pay Taxes. --------------- India 's Freedom Struggle was spearheaded by Business men and Indian Industrialists . Mahatma hi was from Business Cl
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Ashwani Aggarwal
                                      Feb 24, 2016 at 8:33 am
                                      The problem in India is that arsonists / killers do not get punished. Look at 1984 when more than 3000 innocent Indians murdered so brutally in India 's capital . And no body gets punished.
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        mumbai
                                        Feb 24, 2016 at 9:02 am
                                        This is why i prefer BJP to govern. First they show some exercise and cheated the hindu people as is they are the avatar to save hinduism from muslims. But it is clear that BJP RSS HIndu mahasaba etc etc can never harm islam. Islam will prevail and progress. BJP shall continue and teach a lesson to those who selected BJP to rule the country.
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          mumbai
                                          Feb 24, 2016 at 9:05 am
                                          you are really great. during war chanragupta mauriya murdered scores of inidans. no one is talking about this. did anyone got pusinhed? ha ha ha you keep on talking this. whom do you want to punish their children?
                                          Reply
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                                            Arun
                                            Feb 24, 2016 at 7:15 am
                                            It is clear now that this riot is organized and managed by RSS.
                                            Reply
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