Haryana peaceful on third day of Jat stir

Chandigarh, Jan 31 (IANS) Haryana remained peaceful on Tuesday, the third day of the resumed agitation by the Jats, as security forces remained on high alert in districts witnessing protests by the community members.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said peace prevailed in the state even as the protest organisers had assured of a peaceful agitation.

“The central government had given approval for the deployment of 37 companies of paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in Haryana. Of these, 17 companies have reached the state whereas the remaining will come on February 1,” Ram Niwas told the media here.

“Authorities have come across some songs with objectionable content aimed at causing caste-based ill will. Strict action will be taken against those found indulging in such activities. Internet services and certain websites may be blocked, if required,” he said.

The Jats are demanding fulfilment of their demands like the release of youths arrested during the Jat agitation last year, jobs to kin of Jats killed in the agitation and action against officials responsible for firing on Jat agitationists.

Ram Niwas said authorities were maintaining communication channels with all gram panchayats and were directed to assist district administrations in maintaining law and order. All persons have the right to express views in a peaceful manner in a democracy, he added.

Ram Niwas said the Jhajjar district administration, which had ordered the suspension of all calling services, voice calls, short-messaging service and bulk messages on mobile networks from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily was reviewing its decision.

The call for protests has been given by the All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti headed by Yashpal Malik in 19 districts of Haryana.

The Jat agitation in February last year left 30 people dead and over 200 injured.

Rohtak, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Jind, Hisar and some other districts were the worst affected.

Government and private property worth hundreds of crores was damaged or set on fire. Large-scale looting of commercial and business premises and even motorists was reported from the 10 worst affected districts.

More protesters, including women, had joined the agitation on Monday.

With bitter memories of last year’s large-scale violence fresh in the minds of people, Haryana remained on high alert from Sunday onwards. Paramilitary forces and Haryana Police were monitoring the situation in Jat-dominated districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Jind, Bhiwani, Sonipat, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, Panipat and others.

–IANS

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