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Army called in as Jat protest leaves 1 dead

ON THE BOIL:Members of the Jat community torch a truckduring their agitation for reservation in Rohtak on Friday. Agitators also blocked highways. — Photo: PTI  

Army columns were deployed at nine locations in Haryana on Friday and curfew was imposed in Rohtak and Bhiwani city limits with shoot-at-sight orders, after one person was killed in police firing as an agitation demanding reservation for Jats flared into violence.

Agitators tried to torch Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu’s house, burnt vehicles and blocked highways.

An Army official confirmed to The Hindu that “the Rohtak column has already moved and others will move as soon as they are ready.”

It is learnt that Haryana Chief Secretary spoke to Army Chief General Dalbir Singh on the situation, following which Army units were put on standby.

Curfew was imposed both in Rohtak and Bhiwani later in the evening. Though there were no official figures, at least 70 people were said to have been injured in Rohtak, local sources said.

Though only one death was officially confirmed, the local sources said two more people were killed in different parts of Rohtak during the violence.

The State government, caught unawares by the ferocity of the violence, called an all-party meeting in the morning but events quickly got out of hand in Rohtak and surrounding districts, with the administration imposing section 144 and blocking Internet access in these areas.

Later the government conceded the demand of the Jats and promised to bring in a quota Bill. Haryana Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar said a committee chaired by the Chief Secretary would submit its report in the Budget session of the Assembly.