55 companies of central security forces in Haryana as Jats relaunch reservation agitation
Chandigarh: The Delhi Police has declared Section 144, banning large gatherings in border districts this evening as the Jats carried on protests for quota in jobs and education in neighbouring Haryana.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
The decision of the Delhi Police was taken in view of the violence during the first round of agitation in and around Mukherjee Nagar and Najafgarh areas. Now prohibitory orders were imposed in the southwest, northwest and southeast Delhi.
The protesters have said this time they will not block highways or railway lines and stay away from cities. However, they have warned of intensifying the agitation if their demands are not met.
Over 7,000 troops of central security forces are helping the Haryana police patrol highways, railway tracks, important government offices and public places. The districts on high alert include Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Jind, Bhiwani, Hisar, Fatehabad, Panipat and Kaithal.
The call for the renewed agitation has been given by the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti. But some sections of the Jat community and its leadership have distanced themselves from the agitation call.
The Munak canal that supplies most of Delhi's water is being guarded by central troops. It was taken over by protestors for three days in February, leaving Delhi without water till the army retook control.
Prohibitory orders banning large groups from gathering have been enforced in sensitive areas in Jhajjar, Sonepat, Rohtak, Panipat, Hisar, Fatehabad, Jind and Kaithal districts - and also near National Highways and railway lines.
In February, the Jat agitation had paralysed the state for nearly a week. Shops and malls were set on fire, transport was cut off, and according to some estimates, business worth $5 billion was lost.
Last month, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar of the BJP led the effort to clear a new law that includes the caste as a beneficiary of affirmative action policies. But the Punjab and Haryana High Court has put the law on hold because it busts a prescribed cap of 50% on quotas.
February's violence was investigated, on the orders of the government, by Prakash Singh, a former top police officer in Uttar Pradesh. His report, given to the High Court, has indicted senior cops and bureaucrats for dereliction of duty, in some cases because the officers were Jats themselves.