Chandigarh, Feb 21: At least 10 people have been killed and 150 injured in violence linked to the pro-quota agitation by the Jat community in Haryana, the state’s Director General of Police (DGP) Y.P. Singhal said on Sunday. Singhal told media persons here that the violence in the worst-affected districts of Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar had been contained since Saturday night.
“As per reports, 10 people have been killed and nearly 150 are injured. No death has been reported since last (Saturday) night, either in police action or in rioting,” he said. Thousands of people continued to suffer as the violent agitation by Jat community protestors in Haryana continued for the eighth day on Sunday.
The agitation paralysed life in the entire state, cutting off all northern states from Delhi. Trains and buses to and from Delhi and other places have been cancelled. All major highways passing through Haryana have been blocked by protestors at several places.
Those opting for the flight path faced hiked up ticket rates in view of the increased demand. Flight-tickets from Chandigarh to Delhi were being priced between Rs.25,000 and Rs.55,000 for the one-hour journey. Singhal said the top priority of the security forces and the government was to restore water supply to Delhi.
He said paramilitary forces and irrigation department officials have reached the place where the water supply to the national capital was disrupted by protestors on Saturday and efforts were being made to restore the supply to Delhi.
The DGP refuted reports that there was lack of coordination between the army deployed in the state and the state authorities.
“There is complete coordination between army and Haryana Police. No truth in lack of coordination. The army is deployed to assist the civil administration,” he said. The DGP said the security forces have formulated an action plan for the affected districts and efforts were being made to restore traffic on NH-1 and other highways that have been blocked by protesters.
“We are trying to secure the cities. We have initiated night-dominance by security forces,” he said. Singhal said 69 columns of the army have reached Haryana and have been deployed in the affected districts, especially Rohtak and Jhajjar.
“The Centre has given 49 companies of paramilitary forces. Thirty-nine companies have reached and 24 have been deployed. The rest are being airlifted for deployment,” he said. The DGP said 291 cases have been registered following the violence and 45 people have been rounded up.
Chaos reigned in Haryana on Saturday with escalated violence in several areas as hooligans, who have joined the ranks of Jat protestors, ran amok setting on fire government and private property as well as vehicles. Curfew was imposed in Hisar, Sonipat and Jind towns after the violence. Protests were also reported in Kaithal, while Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar towns have remained under curfew since Friday evening.
National Highway No.1 (NH-1) — connecting Delhi to Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir — has been blocked by Jat protestors at various places in Sonipat and Panipat districts.
Thousands of vehicles and people were stranded at different places along the highway. (IANS)