1 ‘killed’ in police firing; minister’s house attacked in Jat stir

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As police opened fire on Jat protesters seeking reservation, at least one person was reported killed and six were injured near the Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) campus here. The protesters also attacked in a bid to set on fire the house of Haryana minister Capt Abhimanyu, who was not inside. Another house was also burnt. Police did not confirm the toll, while the melee grew bigger despite efforts by the government.

Jat leaders earlier on Friday refused to withdraw their agitation till a legislation is passed giving quota to the community under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category even as the authorities in the worst-affected district suspended Internet and SMS services due to the stir which has disrupted rail and road traffic.

Meanwhile, there were no cops visible on the Delhi highway. The Jats took out a protest march and damaged three buses of the state roadways, while a counter-protest was carried out by members of other communities, including the Balmikis, who are opposed to quota for Jats. The counter-marchers too damaged a truck in which Jats had earlier reached the area. The police have filed to implement Section 144.

The protesters in Rohtak accused chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar of resisting their demand as he was “not from the community” even as the state government called an all-party meeting to end the impasse.

“We are not going to withdraw our agitation till our demand is met. We will intensify our agitation in other parts of the state, including Panchkula and Yamunanagar,” All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti’s national president Yashpal Malik said. “We want BJP government in Haryana to bring a legislation in the upcoming budget session to include Jats in OBC category. They should bring a law in the Assembly with regard to Jat reservation and get it passed,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Punjab and Haryana high court asked the Khattar government to file a status report on the law and order situation as a Jat quota stir turned violent overnight, forcing several districts to block mobile internet and messaging services.

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