Rewari traders protest against Jat violence

Gurgaon, Feb 26 (IANS) Traders in Haryana’s Rewari district on Friday observed a shutdown seeking stringent action against those who looted and set fire to businesses of non-Jats during the Jat job quota protests.

Traders in Rewari, about 55 km from here, also expressed moral support for businessmen whose outlets were looted and torched across Haryana, specially in Jat-dominated Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar and Jind districts.

A protest march snaked through different parts of Rewari led by people mainly from Punjabi and Saini communities.

The demonstrators burnt the effigies of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Jat cabinet ministers O.P. Dhankar and Abhimanyu for their alleged role in instigating the Jat agitators.

They demanded compensation for traders who suffered heavily and urged the state government not to compensate “criminal agitators” killed in clashes with the army and paramilitary forces.

The demonstrators said only innocents who died in the agitation should be compensated — that too after a high-level probe.

Jat agitators on February 22 blocked and vandalized vehicles in Rewari district and railway tracks from February 21 to 23. Rewari saw much less violence compared to Jat-dominated districts.

Punjabis taking part in the protest demonstration on Friday accused the police of inaction against Jats in Rewari and elsewhere in Haryana. They also sought strict action against senior erring police officers.

A memorandum of demands was submitted to Rewari Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg to be passed on to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

“The shutdown was peaceful. No untoward incident was reported,” Garg told IANS.

Thirty people were killed and more than 200 injured as Jats took to the streets for nine days across Haryana demanding quotas in government jobs.

The agitation was marred by largescale destruction of government as well as private property, the latter mainly belonging to non-Jat communities.

The government has announced Special Backward Class status for Jats in the state.

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