Delhi link still snapped
Adamant Jat protesters lay siege to National Highway 1 (NH-1), snapping link to the national capital despite stern measures by the security forces to get the road cleared. The Army opened fire to disperse protesters at Larsauli in Sonepat today. Though official sources said three persons were killed, other reliable sources put the toll at five.
Meanwhile, curfew was imposed in Kaithal after a mob vandalised a mall and looted shops. More than 500 persons were booked. The authorities have sought more forces for the district. At least 1,300 persons have been booked in Faridabad and 1,000 in Palwal for rioting.
Much to the relief of stranded commuters, protesters agreed to lift blockades on National Highway 10 after a series of negotiations with the authorities at Rohtak and Hisar. Ram Bhagat Malik, spokesperson for the Akhil Bharatiya Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, said blockades on NH-10, that links Sirsa, Hisar and Rohtak with Delhi, had been removed.
Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said 16 persons had died in the ongoing agitation, including three at Larsauli village in Sonepat. The deceased are Sunny of Ganaur, Rakesh of Shamri village and Sandeep of Pamcha village.
Haryana Janhit Congress chief Kuldeep Bishnoi demanded a criminal case against former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in view of a CD on the social media showing his former political adviser, Prof Virender, instigating the Jats. Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the government would get the CD examined.
Hooda and his son Deepender Singh, Rohtak MP, were stopped at the Tikri border near Bahadurgarh today as they tried to enter Rohtak from Delhi. Protesters squatting on the Rohtak-Delhi road refused to budge, insisting that they be provided a copy of the government notification on Jat reservation. Later in the evening, they lifted the blockade at Sampla village (NH-10) after a delegation of Jat leaders met Principal Secretary AK Singh and Additional DGP BS Sandhu at the Police Lines, Rohtak.
An Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti leader announced that they had decided to clear the roads in Hisar, Fatehabad and Bhiwani. Meanwhile, water supply to Delhi has been restored. In violence-hit Rohtak, curfew was relaxed for an hour today.