Chandigarh, Feb 20: Violence and arson in the Jat quota stir in Haryana spread to more areas on Saturday with five more people killed in firing by security personnel at Rohtak and Jhajjar districts taking the death toll to six even as he Army staged flag marches in affected pockets.
As Haryana remaiend on the boil, Army had to use choppers to reach parts of blocked Rohtak district even as several Haryana Roadways buses, seven railway stations, a police station and some buildings were torched by pro-quota protesters.
As violence spread to more areas, curfew was clamped in five more Haryana towns--the latest one being Jind, Hisar and Hansi in the evening. Earlier today, curfew was imposed in Sonipat and Gohana towns of Sonipat district. Curfew had already been clamped in Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar towns.
The road and rail traffic through Haryana and destined for neighboring states, including Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Chandigarh remained disrupted with authorities cancelling bus and train services on most routes in the wake of continuing blockades.
Four persons were killed while several others sustained bullet injuries in firing opened by security personnel at Rohtak and Jhajjar districts. "Two persons were brought dead in PGIMS here," hospital authorities in Rohtak said today. "One patient who was critically injured was operated upon but he has also died," authorities said in the evening.
"One patient was brought dead at Jhajjar civil hospital with bullet injury in his head," a Jhajjar civil hospital official said over phone, adding that six patients with firearm injuries were referred to PGIMS. Among the four dead, three were identified as Parveen (Jhajjar), Krishan (Jhajjar) and Nitin (Rohtak). The identity of the fourth is not yet known. One unidentified person was killed in firing by BSF yesterday in Rohtak after the agitation turned violent.
The Jat stir in Haryana has severely hit the movement of more than 800 trains, and seven stations in the state were set on fire by the agitators. Jhajjar, Buddha Khed, Julana and Pillu Kheda were among the seven stations which were set afire, a Railway spokesperson said, adding that two track machines were also burnt at Pillu Kheda.
The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India suspended operations at its two plants in Gurgaon and Manesar as component supplies have been hit by the agitation of Jats demanding job reservation. In a new twist to the agitation, there were reports of clashes between Jats and non-Jats with 10 persons being injured at Kalayat in Kaithal district and in Hansi area of Hisar district.
Appealing to protesters to end their stir, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in a statement asked agitators to "return to their homes as the Government has accepted their demands", but did not elaborate "Such incidents create disharmony," he said here after reviewing the situation with his ministerial colleagues and senior civil and police officers.
But several Jat leaders refused to call off the pro-quota agitation unless the government promulgates an ordinance to include the community in the OBC category.