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Road, train traffic hit as Jat stir escalates in Haryana

Jat community members block the railway tracks during their agitation for reservation in Sonipat.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after one person was killed and 78 sustained injuries in Jat agitation over reservation in Haryana's Rohtak, the agitation escalated on Saturday with reports of sporadic violence and disruption of road and rail traffic coming from different parts in the State.

Confirming reports of violence, Haryana Director-General of Police Yash Pal Singhal said there were reports of arson and rioting from across the State including Rohtak, Jind, Hisar, Panipat and Sonipat. A petrol pump and a police station building in Meham were damaged and set afire on Saturday. “The National Highway- 1 is blocked near Sonipat but efforts are on to get the blockade lifted. At many places the agitating Jats are lifting blockades after persuasion,” said Mr. Singhal.

In reply to a question, Mr. Singhal denied any intelligence failure on the issue of agitation and added that the situation was dynamic as those agitating were changing their plans. The Government too had to change its strategy to contain the agitation.

Mr. Singhal said that an arms shop was also looted in Rohtak on Friday, but the quantity of looted ammunition could not be estimated.

The major intersections and roads in Gurgaon were also blocked on Saturday morning throwing the traffic out of gear in the city. The major roads and intersections blocked were Sohna Road, Basai Chowk, Daultabad flyover, Atul Kataria Chowk, Bajghera and Subhash Chowk. However, with most of the schools and offices being closed on account of weekend, there was little traffic on the roads.

In view of the volatile situation, curfew was clamped in Rohtak and Bhiwani with shoot-at-sight orders in place. Also, Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was imposed in Gurgaon and Faridabad. The situation in the Rohtak continued to be tense, the local sources said. Also, there were unconfirmed report of agitators setting the Panipat toll plaza and some schools ablaze. However, there was no immediate official confirmation. A railway station in Jind was also set afire.

Meanwhile, 13 columns of Army have reached the State and are assisting the administration. Ten more columns of the Army are being airlifted to their respective destinations. In addition, ten companies of para-military forces have reached the State and 23 more companies are on their way to Haryana. These were either being air lifted or reaching by road. Union Home Secretary had agreed to deploy ten more companies for the State.

According to the Director of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak said the injured in violence yesterday include five police personnel. He said that out of the total injured, 46 were discharged after first aid. As many as 31 were admitted to wards and five of them to the Intensive Care Units.

PTI adds:

Nine trains cancelled

Nine trains have been cancelled, four partially cancelled and the route of five others changed due to Jat agitation in Haryana.

The agitation has affected movement of trains on rail sections falling under Northern Railway and North Western Railway.

The trains which were cancelled are Ahmedabad—New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Jodhpur—Delhi Mandore Express, Jodhpur/Bikaner—Delhi Sampark Kranti Express, Udaipur—Delhi Chetak Express, Ajmer—New Delhi Shatabdi Express, Ajmer—Haridwar Express, Ajmer—Amritsar Express, Delhi—Udaipur Chetak Express and Delhi—Bandra Terminus Garibrath Express, NWR CPRO Tarun Jain said

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 5:13:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/road-train-traffic-hit-as-jat-stir-escalates-in-haryana/article8261288.ece

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