Army Called in as Jat Stir for Quota Flares up in Haryana

Nine columns of the Army and 3300 paramilitary personnel are being rushed for deployment in nine districts after widespread arson by Jat agitators

Published: 19th February 2016 10:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2016 12:06 AM   |  A+A-


Sonipat Jat community members block the railway tracks during their agitation for reservation in Sonipat on Friday. | PTI


ROHTAK: The Army was called out in nine districts of Haryana and curfew and shoot-at-sight oders were imposed in two districts after one person died and 25 were injured as the Jat stir for reservation turned violent in Haryana today.

With mobs resorting to widespread arson, the Centre rushed 1,000 paramilitary personnel.

Rampaging mobs held some policemen captive and set ablaze the house of finance minister Abhimanyu and several government and private properties in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Hansi and several other parts of the state.

The agitationists are seeking inclusion of Jats in the list of Economically Backward Classes.

They targeted police and private vehicles, buildings housing offices, including two toll plazas at Hansi in Hissar district and near Rohtak, both located on the Delhi-Hisar-Fazilka National Highway.

One protestor was killed in Rohtak when BSF personnel opened fire, apparently in self-defence, after someone from the rampaging mob fired at and injured a trooper, Haryana director-general of police Yashpal Singhal told a press conference in Chandigarh.

With the situation slipping out of control, the Army was called in for deployment in eight worst-affected districts: Rohtak, Jhajjar, Jind, Bhiwani, Hissar, Kaithal, Panipat and Sonipat.

Troops were also rushed to Karnal, Army sources said in Delhi. Nine columns have been sent altogether.

Curfew was imposed in the city limits of Rohtak and Bhiwani.

The agitation escalated and turned violent soon after an all-party meeting held by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The protesters rejected his appeal for an end to the agitation although Khattar promised to work out a way to extend reservation to the community.

Army units were being rushed to Rohtak from the nearby cantonment at Hissar, about 50 km away, an official spokesman said. They would be deployed immediately in Rohtak and Bhiwani.

He said Army units are also being rushed from Jaipur for deployment in the other worst-affected areas of the state.

They will assist the civil administration in restoring law and order.

Two senior civil and police officers - principal secretary (home) A K Singh and additional director-general of police of Haryana B S Sandhu - have been rushed to Rohtak to coordinate with the Army and the civil administration to restore normalcy.

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