Police lathicharge Jat community members during their agitation for reservation in Rohtak. (Photo: PTI)
Rohtak (Haryana): Army was called in on Friday for deployment in eight districts of Haryana after one person was killed and 21 were injured in police action as Jat stir for quota turned violent and the rampaging mobs set ablaze the house of state's Finance Minister besides several government and private properties.
Protestors also took some police personnel captive besides going on rampage at many places including Rohtak, Jhajjar and Hansi targeting 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, escalated and turned violent soon after an all-party meeting held by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar issued an appeal for calling it off but it was rejected by the protesters.
Khattar gave an assurance that a solution will be worked out to extend reservation to the community.
Read: Haryana Jat leaders reject appeal of political parties to call off quota protest
One protestor was killed in Rohtak when the BSF personnel opened fire in "self-defence" after someone from the rampaging mob fired at and injured a BSF jawan, Haryana DGP Yashpal Singhal told a press conference in Chandigarh.
Since the situation was going out of control, army has been called in for deployment in eight worst-affected districts -- Rohtak, Jhajjar, Jind, Bhiwani, Hissar, Kaithal, Panipat and Sonipat, the state police chief said.
About 20 companies (about 2000 personnel) of central para military forces (CPMF) have been sought from the Centre, police said.
Today, for the first time, the rail and road traffic on the Delhi Ambala National Highway and mainline railway route was also blocked by protestors at various places including in Sonipat district.
Read: Jat quota: Internet services blocked as Haryana CM Khattar calls all-party meet
A number of local, short distance and long distance trains, including Kalka Chandigarh Delhi Shatabdi have been cancelled in view of the Jats agitation.
The DGP said police personnel were taken captive by the large number of protestors at some places including Rohtak and the cops were unable to perform their duties.
The main impact of the Jats' agitation is in various districts of the state including Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Hissar, Fatehabad, Karnal, Jind, Yamuna Nagar, Sirsa and Gurgaon where road transport has come to a halt.
In Rohtak, the protesters set on fire the residence of Finance Minister Abhimanyu, police said, adding a car parked outside the house was also set on fire.
Read: BJP warns of stern steps to deal with Jat protest in Haryana
In view of this incident, security in and around the residences of ministers and legislators has been beefed up, officials said.
The protesters, who had gathered at the Rohtak bypass road of Delhi-Hisar National Highway, also allegedly attacked police vehicles, which were parked there in which window panes were damaged, officials said.
The security personnel deployed there had to use force, including firing, to control the violent mob.
"There is one death of an unidentified person because of (suspected) bullet injuries," said authorities of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science & Hospital 21 injured people, including one critical, have been admitted to the hospital, its authorities added.
Read: Jat quota stir: Curfew imposed in Rohtak, Bhiwani city areas of Haryana
The Circuit House and the office of Inspector General of Police (IGP), Rohtak. were also attacked by the protestors who pelted stones on the buildings. A car parked at the IGP office was also damaged, officials said.
A police vehicle and some private vehicles, including a two-wheeler, were also set on fire. The scooter of a person who was taking a sick to a local hospital was also set on fire by the protestors.
Elsewhere in various places in the state, protestors deflated tyres of cars of a number of people trying to travel on various National and State Highways in the state.
Haryana Roadways has suspended its local and inter-state bus services in the affected districts. Mobile internet services have also been suspended in various districts including Rohtak and Jhajjar.
Read: 1,000 paramilitary personnel rushed to Haryana; Rajnath Singh speaks to CM
Besides Haryana Police, personnel of Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) personnel have been deployed in various districts, including the worst affected Rohtak.
Senior civil and police officers held a meeting at the state headquarters in Chandigarh to review the situation arising out of the violence being reported from various parts of the state.
Meanwhile a resident of Bhiwani approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court pointing out the difficulties and harassment being faced by residents of the state due to the Jat agitation. The Court has sought a status report from the state government.
Meanwhile, the order for the suspension of mobile Internet and SMS services indefinitely in Rohtak were issued by Rohtak Deputy Commissioner D K Behera in the wake of Jat agitation spreading in the district.
Read: Several trains cancelled in wake of agitation by Jats in Haryana
The order said it is feared that anti-social elements are spreading provoking pictures through Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and SMS which could further disturb the law and order situation in the district. However, mobile services will continue in the district.
State BJP president Subhash Barala said "the Haryana CM has said that the state government is ready to take every step to give reservation to Jats. Opposition parties have promised us support in the Assembly on the issue."
Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also made an appeal for maintenance of peace and harmony in the state as there were "some forces" which were trying to create tension among the people.
"The CM has assured that a solution will be worked out after holding discussion with agitating Jats. The solution should be such that nobody should suffer and everybody should benefit. We have told the government to take a decision in this regard on an urgent basis," Hooda said.
INLD state president Ashok Arora asked the state government to seek an apology from Saini for his anti-Jat quota remarks.
"We have also told the government that if the Tamil Nadu government can give reservation to its people by amending law, then the Haryana government should also follow the same route to give reservation to Jats.
"However, it is for the government to take a decision. We also appeal to the protesting Jats to maintain peace in the interest of the state," Arora said.
The meeting was also attended by CLP leader Kiran Chaudhary, Haryana Congress Chief Ashok Tanwar and Arora.