Jat agitators block roads, tracks again in Haryana

March 9th, 2012 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, March 9 (IANS) Members of the Jat community, agitating for quotas in government jobs, Friday again blocked highways and railway tracks in Haryana’s Hisar district after the government failed to release their arrested leaders.

The Jat leadership had set the 12 noon Friday deadline for the Haryana government to release nearly 100 leaders, arrested in recent days after the violent agitation that has left one youth dead and several injured.

The protestors placed trees and boulders on the highways connecting Hisar with Delhi, Jind, Bhiwani and Chandigarh and also blocked the Hisar-Delhi railway track.

The protestors refused to perform the last rites of the youth, Sandeep, despite Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) Ranjiv Dalal appeal to the agitators and the members of the family.

His body has been kept in a glass coffin at the railway track near Mayyar village, 25 km from Hisar.

Dalal said: “Those who were preventing the funeral were, in fact, trying to grind their own axe.”

He said 24 companies of paramilitary forces, comprising nearly 2,500 personnel, had already been deployed in the district and six more companies would reach shortly. This was in addition to Haryana police personnel. The district administration has also asked the army to be on stand-by.

The Jat community has been agitating for the last few days, seeking reservation in government jobs in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

They blame Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for going back on earlier promises and using delaying tactics and force to break up the agitation.

Tensions have been running high in the district over the last week. On Wednesday, a day after a youth was killed in police firing, protestors blocked the national highway to Delhi and railway tracks. They allegedly also set a police station on fire and ransacked a bank branch near Hisar Cantt, 300 km from here.

Sandeep, 20, was killed early Tuesday as police attempted to remove protesting Jats from the railway track near Ramayan and Mayyar villages in the district.

Nearly 25 protestors were injured in the police action Tuesday. Of these, 10 were seriously injured and admitted to hospitals here and in Rohtak.

The police used tear-gas and used batons to disperse the protestors, who were pelting stones at them.

Hisar Deputy Commissioner Amit Aggarwal said the doors of the administration were open for talks. The administration had not reached any agreement with the agitators to release the arrested Jat community leaders, he said.

Jat leaders said they would not hold any talks with the administration or the state government till their leaders are released.

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