CHANDIGARH: As the Jat-agitation entered the 50th day on Sunday, a clash erupted between the protesters and the state police near Fatehabad in Haryana with the agitators trying to march toward Delhi on the call given by the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) to gherao the Parliament.
The clash started when the jats, moving in their tractor-trolleys, were stopped by DSP Gurdayal Singh. When the agitators were told to leave their weapons behind, a young protester threw a wooden log at Singh, thereby injuring him.
The police resorted to lathi-charge and used tear gas while the protesters pelted stones leaving around 25 people injured in the incident.
In a matter of minutes, close to twenty tractor-trolleys full of protesters reached the spot and the situation spiralled out of control with the agitators setting fire to police buses. Security has been heightened in Jhajjhar following the clashes.
The state government had imposed a ban on the movement of tractor-trolleys in districts bordering Delhi. Director General of Police of Haryana, KP Singh said state police and security forces were on high alert in all the districts of the state bordering Delhi and a tab is being kept on the movement of Jat protesters. On Monday, there will be complete ban on the movement of tractor-trolleys.
The state government had already imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC in 15 districts (Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Panipat, Hisar, Kaithal, Charkhi Dadri, Fatehabad, Jind and Sirsa) of the state.
The government had also issued instructions to petrol pump owners in the state asking them not to fill more than ten litres of fuel in tractor-trolleys. They have also been asked to note down the driver's name, registration number and the number of people travelling in the vehicle. Ban has also been imposed on open sale of petrol, diesel and other inflammable materials.
Mobile internet services and bulk SMS services have been banned in all these districts and liquor shops have been closed till March 21. Besides, all hotels, dharamsalas and restaurants have been directed to maintain records of guests.
Pitching of tents along the state and national highways has also been prohibited.
The Jats have been holding peaceful demonstrations in several parts of the state since the end of January demanding reservation, jobs to the next of kin of those killed in last year’s Jat-agitation, compensation to the injured, withdrawal of cases besides other demands.
A meeting is currently underway between leaders of the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) lead by Yashpal Malik and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at the Haryana Bhawan in New Delhi to resolve the stand-off.
Khattar, who was to go to Lucknow to attend the swearing-in of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has called-off his visit.