RAIL-ROAD TRAFFIC HIT AS JAT QUOTA STIR CONTINUES IN HARYANA

QUOTA CAULDRON- ANGER IN JATLAND - File Photo

ROHTAK (TIP):Jat protests have disrupted road and rail traffic with the worst hit being the Rohtak-Jhajjar, the epicentre of the protests, besides Bhiwani, Sonipat and Hisar.

Trucks have been stranded near Rohtak bypass as the agitation continues.

Earlier, authorities blocked mobile internet services in two Haryana districts as a Jat quota agitation turned violent overnight and crippled normal life across large parts of the state which struggled to maintain supply of essential commodities for the past five days.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar called an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the issue after Jat leaders vowed to continue the agitation till the government provided them reservation under the other backward classes (OBC) category. Khattar also convened an emergency cabinet meeting on Thursday night to review the situation in the wake of the agitation by the community which constitutes nearly 30% of the state’s population.

INTERNET SERVICES BLOCKED IN JHAJJAR, ROHTAK

Officials said mobile internet services have been blocked in Jhajjar and Rohtak in the Jat heartland which saw violence on Thursday when protesters clashed and pelted stones on police trying to evict them after imposition of prohibitory orders in four districts.

They said the move was aimed at preventing spread of rumours which could add fuel to the already tense situation. The agitation also spread to northern Haryana districts of Kurukshetra and Yamunanagar.

Two lawyers were injured and two motorcycles were set afire in a clash between members of the Punjabi community and lawyers supporting Jat protesters outside the Rohtak district court. The district administration has declared holiday in all educational institutions of Rohtak till February 21.

The agitation by Jats has crippled life despite the state government assuring them to include them in quota for economically backward persons (EBP) of general castes and also increasing the EBP quota from 10% to 20%.Agriculture minister Om Prakash Dhankar said after the Cabinet meeting that supply of essential commodities such as cooking gas and petrol has been affected.

“Our fuel trucks have not reached us for the past four days and soon we will be out of stock. It will add to the woes of the people,” said an employee of a fuel pump on Delhi road in Rohtak.

90 FUEL DEPOTS DECLARED DRIED

The All Haryana Petroleum Dealers’ Association vice-president Bhushan Goel said out of 102 fuel depots in Rohtak more than 90 have already been declared dried and remaining may go out of stock if the agitation lasts for one more day. The agitation has also affected crushing operations of the co-operative sugar mills in Jat-dominated areas of Rohtak, Meham, Gohana and Sonepat. While all state and national highways had been blocked in Rohtak, Sonepat and Jhajjar districts for the past four days, Jat protesters blocked the Bahadurgarh-Delhi road at Bahadurgarh and Najafgarh of Jhajjar district, affecting traffic movement to Delhi from Haryana on Thursday. Bus services continued to be suspended in Jind, Rohtak, Narwana, Hisar, Jhajjar, Sonepat districts.