Jat stir: Haryana tense as blockades likely to be removed

Chandigarh, Feb 22 (IANS) Haryana was on the tenterhooks on Monday as security forces moved in to get blockades by Jat protesters removed along highways and railway tracks.

No untoward incident, except for the blockades, was reported in the state in the past 12-hours, police said.

Some protesters have started going back to their places early on Monday, the police sources said.

With the Bharatiya Janata Party promising to give reservation to Jats and assuring that a bill will be brought in the next session of the Haryana assembly, Jat leaders had appealed to the protesters to end the agitation.

The Jat agitation, which is into its ninth day on Monday, has left 11 people dead and over 150 injured.

Security forces moved in to get blockades removed from the busy NH-1 (Delhi-Ambala) and NH-10 (Delhi-Hisar). Efforts were also made to clear railway tracks on the Delhi-Ambala and Delhi-Bathinda sections.

Thousands of people and vehicles were stranded on NH-1 as the protesters laid siege to the highway in Sonipat and Panipat districts in the past three days, cutting off road connectivity to Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh through the highway.

Nearly 800 trains were cancelled by railway authorities in the region due to the Jat agitation.

Security forces were likely to try to secure the Munak canal, which supplies water to Delhi, in Haryana’s Sonipat district. Water supply to Delhi has been disrupted at Akbarpur-Barota by Jat protesters since Friday night.

Hundreds of shops have been vandalised and set on fire in Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar and other places.

A number of government and private buildings and vehicles were also set on fire in the past four days as mob of youth went on the rampage in over 10 districts in Haryana.

The state government had to requisition the army and para-military forces to contain the situation. However, the violent protests continued and even spread to other areas of the state.

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