Haryana braces for renewed Jat agitation

Chandigarh, June 4 (IANS) With a section of Jat community leaders giving a call to re-start protests for reservation from Sunday (June 5), the Haryana government and the state police are bracing themselves to deal with the situation.

Paramilitary forces and Haryana Police have been deployed in sensitive areas of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Jind, Panipat and Kaithal districts to ensure that the agitation does not get out of control and turns violent.

In Sonipat district, orders have been imposed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibiting any assembly of five or more people at any place.

With the Jat agitation being renewed after the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the notification for quotas to the Jat and other communities, people in northern states comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and union territory of Chandigarh appeared worried that the agitation could lead to road and railway blockades in Haryana again.

The call for the renewed agitation has been given by the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS). Some other sections of the Jat community and its leadership have distanced themselves from the agitation call.

AIJASS leader Hawa Singh Sangwan assured that the protests would remain peaceful.

Haryana saw the worst violence in its five decades of existence in February this year during the Jat agitation for reservation.

As many as 30 persons were killed, 320 others injured and property worth hundreds of crores of rupees was destroyed during the agitation. The state remained paralysed for nearly 10 days.

The Haryana Police on Thursday announced that leave of all police personnel had been cancelled.

Haryana Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas said that 48 companies of paramilitary forces would assist the state police in maintaining peace across the state.

Haryana Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Mohammad Akil has said that police was fully geared up to meet any eventuality.

“Police and district administration would maintain law and order and safety of the people would be ensured. Individuals or groups of people found trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere directly or indirectly would invite stern action against themselves,” he said.

“There is neither shortage of police force nor of equipment in maintaining law and order. Police would not tolerate any act to block road or rail. The police officers are holding meetings with responsible citizens to maintain peace in rural and urban areas,” he said.

The BJP government in Haryana, led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, which was blamed for inept handling of the violence in February, has set up a state-level riot control room to deal with the forthcoming agitation.

The Khattar government had last month notified reservation for the Jat and five other communities in jobs and admissions but the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week stayed the notification which gave reservation in government jobs and educational institutions under the Backward Class category.

–IANS

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