The Centre’s promise to set up a committee on reservation for Jats has failed to pacify the agitators as several parts of Haryana remained in the grip of violence with at least three more protesters killed in clashes with security forces on Monday.
The toll has gone up to 16. Though protests largely subsided in many parts of Haryana, tension prevailed in many areas. People stayed indoors while shops, educational institutions and industries remained shut.
The national highway connecting Chandigarh and New Delhi was opened in the morning, but protesters continued to block it at Panipat, Sonipat and other places later throughout the day. Security agencies opened fire on a mob in Sonipat that led to violent clashes. Sources said three persons were killed in the firing and at least 15 injured, some of them critically.
Protesters burnt a goods train near Sonipat. More than 12 other vehicles were set ablaze. An official car of the SDM, Jhajjar, was also set ablaze. Curfew was relaxed in select areas. Railway tracks and roads were blocked at more than 450 points.
According to a PTI report, the All India Jat Aarakshan Sanghursh Samiti later in the evening announced lifting of its dharnas on national and state highways in view of the BJP setting up a committee under a central minister to examine the quota demand for the Jat community.
Security forces acted tough on protesters on Monday morning and managed to get the Munak canal functional to ensure that the water supply to New Delhi was restored. The protest at Akbarpur regulator was lifted, but the protesters again blocked the canal at Kabru in Haryana. The protesters were being urged to release water. As an immediate measure, the water of Yamuna canal has been supplied to Delhi through Munak canal to overcome the water crisis in the national capital.
The Samjhauta Express between India and Pakistan was canceled. The Lahore-New Delhi bus service has also been suspended in the wake of the protests.
The Haryana government has announced full compensation for damage to private property, whether residential or commercial.
Directions have been issued to immediately assess the role of all officers, both civil and police, for any act of omission or commission during the agitation.
The government also intends to give a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the “innocent people” killed in the agitation. As many as 183 people have been injured in the agitation and 102 have been arrested.
The state road transport organisation has suffered heavy losses with 33 of its buses set on fire.
Mobile communication in many trouble-torn areas is likely to be affected with the company that operates towers of telecommunication in the state facing shortage of diesel. More than 381 petrol pumps in Haryana have gone dry.
As many as 185 LPG agencies are out of stock, which shows that supply of essential commodities has taken a severe hit.
Jat protesters have damaged 26 petrol pumps during the agitation.