Jats likely to intensify stir in Haryana

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Jats, who are seeking quotas in government jobs, are likely to intensify their agitation after the Haryana government refused to release nearly 100 leaders of the community who were arrested for violent protests.

The agitating Jat community had on Friday again blocked highways and railway tracks in Haryana's Hisar district after the government failed to release their arrested leaders.

The Jat leadership had set a deadline till noon on Friday for the Haryana government to release the leaders after violence over the past two days left one youth dead and several injured.

Jat leaders said they would not hold any talks with the administration or the state government till their leaders were released.

The protestors placed trees and boulders on the highways connecting Hisar with Delhi, Jind, Bhiwani and Chandigarh and also blocked the Hisar-Delhi railway track.

The Jats refused to perform the last rites of the youth, his body was kept in a glass coffin at the railway track near Mayyar village, 25 km from Hisar.

According to Director General of Police (Haryana) Ranjiv Dalal, 24 companies of paramilitary forces, comprising nearly 2,500 personnel, had already been deployed in the district and six more companies would reach shortly. This was in addition to Haryana police personnel. The army was also asked to be on standby.

The Jat community has been agitating for the last few days, seeking reservation in government jobs in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

The Jats blamed Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for going back on earlier promises and using delaying tactics and force to break up the agitation.

Tensions have been running high in the district over the last week. On Wednesday, a day after a youth was killed in police firing, protestors blocked the national highway to Delhi and railway tracks.

They allegedly also set a police station on fire and ransacked a bank branch near Hisar Cantt, 300 km from here.

Sandeep, 20, was killed early on Tuesday as police attempted to remove protesting Jats from the railway track near Ramayan and Mayyar villages in the district.

Nearly 25 protestors were injured in police action on Tuesday. Of these, 10 were seriously injured and admitted to hospitals here and in Rohtak.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse the protestors, who were pelting stones at them.

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