NEW DELHI: The Jat quota stir today reached Delhi as agitating community members held demonstrations at various places, leading to severe disruption of traffic on several arterial roads.
There also were reports of damage to public property by the protesters, who blocked major state border entry points, including Sindhu border, Nangloi-Bahadurgarh Road, Karnal road, Tikari, Jharoda and Madhuban Chowk in southwest and outer Delhi, creating major traffic snarls which affected many areas in the city.
Police said the situation was being brought under control even as demonstrations were held at several places, including Nangloi, Madhuban Chowk, Narela, Najafgarh. "Several companies of Delhi Police have been deployed in Najafgarh and adjoining areas and we are trying to bring the situation under control," said DCP (south west) RA Sanjeev.
The protests led to diversion of traffic with several roads leading to neighbouring Haryana having been blocked by protesters, a senior police officer said. Heavy police deployment has been done for handling the demonstrators, he said. There were also reports of some damage to public property, including buses, in some areas, police said.
"All the major roads are severely affected with Madhuban Chowk having been blocked by the demonstrators," Additional DCP (Outer) Pankaj Kumar Singh said, adding, "The situation is under control so far."
Jats in neighbouring Haryana have been agitating for the past few days to press their demand for quotas in jobs and educational institutions. The protests have been accompanied by violence with curfew having been imposed in many places and the army being called in to bring the situation under control.
The protests have disrupted normal life in Haryana's Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Sonipat and Hisar districts.
1000 Trains Hit by Jat Stir
The Jat agitation for quota has hit rail services hard in the northern states, affecting around 1000 trains with 736 trains cancelled and 105 diverted besides damage to rail property, causing a loss of Rs 200 crore to the transporter.
The important rail routes to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, and Jammu and Kashmir have been badly affected due to the Jat agitation, said a senior Railway ministry official. The Delhi-Rohtak-Bhatinda and Delhi-Rewari-Jaipur, Delhi-Panipat-Ambala routes are worst affected.
The official said the agitating public have also led to largescale damage of railway properties and installations. Ten stations were burnt, two railway engines and two track machines damaged by the agitating public. Tracks were also uprooted at several locations.
The loss to railways due to large scale cancellation and damage is more than Rs 200 crore now, he said. Premier Trains like Jammu Rajdhani, Amritsar Shatabdi, Kalka and Chandigarh Shatabdi trains remained cancelled due to the ongoing stir. Uttar Sampark Kranti, Punjab Mail, Jaipur Double-Decker, Jat Mail and Himalayan Queen are amomg other popular trains that remained affected due to the agitation.
However, railway officials maintain that adequate arrangements has been made for refund of money due to the cancellation of trains. SMS messages to confirmed ticket holders have been given about the cancellations and extra counters have opened for refund of tickets.