Agitators torch police post, rest house & district judge’s car
Rail, road traffic hit in parts of Haryana
All educational institutions shut in Hisar till March 9
Yoginder Gupta, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 7. The issue of Jat reservation rocked the Haryana Assembly as well as parts of the state a today with pro-quota agitators indulging in arson at many places, particularly in Hisar district a day after a protesting youth was allegedly killed in “police firing”.
Protesters torched a police post and a Power Grid Corporation of India rest house and damaged an ATM in Hisar Cantonment.
A mob had torched the car of a district judge at Mirchpur village late last night.
The Hisar Administration called in the Army today following an escalation in violence after one person was killed in yesterday’s police action to disperse agitators blocking rail tracks for several days. It also announced the closure of all educational institutions till March 9.
Protesters insisted that 20-year-old Sandeep was killed in police firing, but Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala said it was premature to come to any conclusion. The true situation, Surjewala said, would be known only after the man’s post-mortem.
Rail and vehicular traffic in parts of the state has been paralysed with the government withdrawing bus service on many routes.
That police action failed to demoralise the agitators was know last afternoon when the Jats fought a pitched battle with the police, forcing the latter to beat a hasty retreat. Agitators were emboldened enough to attack a judicial officer and set fire to the official car of the Jind District and Sessions Judge last night.
An alarmed Punjab and Haryana High Court sought a report on the incident from the Chief Secretary by 6 pm today. It is learnt that the Chief Secretary told the court that an FIR was registered against the miscreants last night itself and the weapon of the judge’s security guard snatched by the miscreants recovered.
Support for the agitators, virtually isolated after the Khaps disassociated themselves from them on March 5, is growing after the police action. Members of the Jat community today sat on dharna outside the Jat dharmshala in Palwal in support of reservation and threatened to intensify the agitation after Holi. Hooda said his door was always open for negotiations, but agitators must wait for the report of the state Backward Classes Commission.
Surjewala alleged that members of Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal were fuelling the stir. He said some such persons had been identified and arrested, but refused to divulge their names “in the interest of investigation”.
Ruckus in Vidhan Sabha
Tuesday’s crackdown by the police on Jat agitators in Hisar derailed proceedings of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha here on Wednesday as a free-for-all oral contest ensued between the Treasury and the opposition benches. The ruckus ended after Speaker Kuldeep Sharma named 28 MLAs of the Opposition for slogan-shouting, disrupting the proceedings, etc.
Surjewala blames INLD
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that members of Om Prakash Chautala’s INLD were fuelling the stir. He said some such persons had been identified and arrested, but refused to divulge their names “in the interest of investigation”.