Chandigarh, June 6 (IANS) The second day of the renewed Jat agitation in Haryana for job reservation and other demands on Monday remained peaceful, a senior official said.
The agitation, which started on Sunday, remained low key.
Despite a blistering heat wave, protests were staged at a dozen places in some districts, dominantly in Rohtak and Hisar.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas said that the ‘dharnas’ (sit-ins) for Jat reservation were “peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state”.
“The dharnas were held only at places earmarked for this purpose. Also, the traffic was normal as neither any highway nor any railway line was blocked by the protesters. Supply of essential goods also remained uninterrupted,” he said, adding that the administration was fully prepared to maintain law and order and all steps were being taken in this direction.
As many as 55 companies of paramilitary forces and hundreds of Haryana Police personnel kept a close watch on the Jat protestors.
Police and administration are also keeping a close watch on miscreants trying to use the social media to spread rumours. Internet services have been suspended in some districts.
The Haryana Police booked several people for violation of prohibitory orders on assembly of five or more people and on charges of spreading rumours through social media.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently stayed a notification of the state government granting reservation to Jats and five other communities. The Haryana assembly had passed a legislation giving them quotas.
At least nine of the 21 districts in Haryana were on high alert on Sunday as a section of the Jat community renewed its agitation for reservation. These included Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Jind, Bhiwani, Hisar, Fatehabad, Panipat and Kaithal.
The Jat community has served a 15-day ultimatum to the Haryana government for implementation of reservation.
The call for the renewed agitation has been given by the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS).
Reports said the agitators started their agitation in rural areas instead of towns this time.
Haryana saw the worst violence in its five decades of existence in February during the Jat agitation for reservation in February.
As many as 30 persons were killed, 320 others injured and property worth crores was destroyed during the agitation. The state remained paralysed for nearly 10 days.
Industry and trade body Assocham on Monday made a strong plea with the Haryana government along with the central agencies to take effective pre-emptive steps to ensure that renewed Jat agitation does not disrupt normal life in the state and the neighbouring areas.
“We hope the Haryana government, having learnt from the previous violent agitation that cost the state thousands of crores of rupees and several precious lives, would make fool-proof arrangements to maintain the confidence of the common citizen and the investors, particularly in cities such as Gurgaon, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Panipat, Karnal,” said Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat.