Jats continue blockade in Haryana, CRPF called in

Chandigarh, Feb 17 (IANS) Agitating Jat community members on Wednesday continued their road and rail blockades at various places in Haryana even as some of their leaders arrived here for talks with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on their demand for reservation.

People in Rohtak, Sonipat, Hisar, Bhiwani and Jhajjar districts were the worst sufferers due to the blockade. It was the fourth day of their agitation in Haryana.

Para-military forces have been deployed in and around Rohtak and other affected districts to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand. The Haryana government on Tuesday sought additional forces from the Centre.

People in districts of neighbouring Punjab, which are adjoining Haryana, are also facing problems due to trains being cancelled or diverted and roads being blocked.

Officials said that at least 25 trains were cancelled in the Ambala and Ferozepur railway divisions due to the blockade at various places like Rohtak, Sampla and Jhajjar. At least 20 other trains were diverted through different routes.

The blockade in Rohtak town, 75 km from Delhi, continued on Wednesday with protestors blocking all road and rail routes to the place.

“We cannot reach our offices. Students cannot go to their educational institutions. There is complete chaos. The state government seems to be in a slumber,” Naveen Malik, employee of a private company in Rohtak who commutes from Jhajjar town daily, told IANS.

The Jats in Haryana are demanding reservation in jobs and educational institutions under the OBC category.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday appealed to the community leaders to end their agitation and invited all organisations of the Jat community for parleys at his residence here on Wednesday.

People travelling to and from national capital Delhi to Haryana for work were the worst affected due to disruption of trains. Transportation of goods on trucks and plying of buses were also affected in some areas.

The worst affected were national highway-10 (Delhi-Rohtak-Hisar) and NH-71 (Rohtak-Jhajjar). Highways connecting Rohtak to Sonipat, Bhiwani and Hisar were also blocked by agitators.

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