At least 10 people have been killed and 150 injured as protests by the Jat community in Haryana demanding Other Backward Classes (OBC) status entered the seventh day on Sunday.
Fresh incidents of violence were reported with protesters in Bhiwani and Sonipat districts setting a fire two police chowkies, shops and an ATM, even as authorities mounted aerial surveillance in the worst-hit areas and the Army staged flag marches.
The state’s Director General of Police YP Singhal has said the violence in the worst-affected districts of Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar has been contained since Saturday night.
“As per reports, 10 people have been killed and nearly 150 are injured. No death has been reported since Saturday night, either in police action or in rioting,” he said.
The Jat stir also hit Delhi with the Arvind Kejriwal government announcing the closure of schools on Monday as part of a water rationing measure after supply from Haryana was hit.
The Centre has asked the Manohar Lal Khattar government to ensure that the water supply to the national capital is not disrupted. Cabinet secretary PK Sinha reviewed the situation in Haryana arising out of the Jat agitation.
Singhal said the top priority of the security forces and the government was to restore water supply to Delhi.
As violent protests by Jats demanding quota continued, Haryana minister Anil Vij made it clear that talks cannot be held with a “mob” and said Jats should form a committee to hold parleys with the state government.
Road and rail traffic through Haryana and destined to neighbouring states, including Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Chandigarh remained disrupted with authorities cancelling services on most routes in the wake of continuing blockade.
While the Jat stir has severely hit the movement of more than 1000 trains, air fares from Chandigarh and Amritsar, both cut off from the national capital by road and rail, have skyrocketed.
The fare for Chandigarh-Delhi, which normally varies between Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000, was being quoted between Rs. 20,000-Rs. 60,000 by various airlines for direct and one-stop flights via other cities.
As violence and arson spread to several parts of Haryana state, the Centre sent additional 1,700 paramilitary personnel to Haryana, taking the total number of central armed police deployed in the trouble state to 5,000.