Sunday, February 21, 2016
A growing number of cities in the Indian state Haryana have been under curfew since Friday. At least eight people are reported dead, with government offices, property, dozens of buses, and eight railway stations burned after protests over job quotas for the Jat caste turned violent in several cities including Rohtak, Bhiwani, and Jhajjar. Reportedly some protesters broke into an armory in Rohtak, stealing arms and ammunition.
|I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.|
Shoot-at-sight was ordered for Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Jind and Hisar. Shops, hotels, and restaurants were set afire by protesters. Thirteen national army columns were called, and helicopters were used to reach various places in the state. Internet was disabled in affected districts, and the state government ordered blocks of all social networking websites.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held a meeting to decide if Jats should also gain the reservation rights for government jobs and colleges by classifying them under Other Backwards Castes.
Burning of stations and uprooting of tracks affected 810 scheduled trains, according to The Indian Express. Police said protesters torched Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu’s house. The state might face water crises. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was to hold the Haryana Central Teacher Eligibility Test today, but cited “administrative difficulties” for suspending it.
Back in 2014, the UPA government appealed for a Jat quota which was rejected by the Supreme Court. This morning, Manohar Khattar tweeted “I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.”
Last year, similar protest took place in Gujarat as Patels protested for reservation led by Hardik Patel.