s violence in Haryana continued on Saturday, with Jat agitators disrupting traffic and setting fire to a railway office, the army used helicopters to reach parts of Rohtak that remain tense even as a curfew imposed overnight remains in place.
The Army could not enter Rohtak initially as protesters had put up blockades at several places, forcing authorities to air drop personnel, sources said. The Centre has also rushed 3,300 paralimitary personnel to control the violence.
The Army on Saturday also conducted a flag march in the most tense neighbourhoods and shoot at sight orders, imposed on Friday after one person died and 25 were injured, continue to be in place. The administration has asked people to stay at homes, official sources said.
Jats are agitating for quotas in jobs and want to be counted as a part of Other Backward Classses, a section that has 27% quotas in government jobs .
On Saturday, agitataors continued to block roads and rail routes, affecting the supply of essential commodities to Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani and other parts of Haryana.
Some of Gurgaon’s roads and other major highways have also been blocked by protesters, TV channels reported.
Train services have also been badly hit as many passenger trains going from Delhi to Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu have been cancelled. “Around 150 trains have been cancelled, some trains have been short-terminated,” Neeraj Sharma, PRO Northern Railway, said.
The Haryana government had on Friday called in the Army to nine districts of the state and imposed curfew in Bhiwani and Rohtak after mobs resorting to widespread arson.
Incidents of violence and arson continued at several places overnight on Friday despite prohibitory orderse in many towns including Hisar, Jhajjar, Jind, Kaithal and Panipat.
Rampaging mobs on Friday held some policemen captive besides setting ablaze the house of state Finance Minister Abhimanyu and several government and private properties.
Protesters had also targeted police and private vehicles, buildings housing offices, including two Toll Plazas at Hansi in Hissar district and near Rohtak, both located on the Delhi-Hisar-Fazilka National Highway.
The agitation, which has been going on for last few days turned violent soon after an all-party meeting held by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and after he issued an appeal to call off the protests.