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Hisar tense, curfew imposed

Vrinda Sharma

Two protesters run over by goods train in Uklana town

HISAR: Curfew was imposed in sensitive areas of Hisar district in Haryana on Tuesday as protesters demanding reservation for the Jat community indulged in violence for the second day, setting buildings on fire, looting trucks and blocking roads and railway tracks.

The violence broke out a day after one person died in police firing at a rally organised by the All-India Jat Aarakshan Samiti demanding reservation for Jats in government jobs and educational institutions.

Two persons were killed when a goods train hit them during a blockade of railway tracks in Uklana town and several others injured in various incidents on Tuesday. Violence was also reported from Sonepat, Sirsa and Bhiwani districts. The police had to use tear gas, baton-charge and firing to control the mobs.

The Hisar district administration sought the Army's help to control the situation. District Magistrate Yudhvir Singh Khyalia said this had been done as a preventive measure.

An unruly mob set on fire the State Bank of India branch in Hisar Cantonment. They also set ablaze the HP Cotton Mill, besides torching two buses of the company. A Reliance petrol pump, which was lying closed, was also damaged. Two buses of Haryana Roadways were set on fire by protesters near Surrewala Chowk. Haryana Roadways suspended all bus operations in the violence-affected areas of the State.

“Many States have included Jats in their OBC list, but the Haryana government had failed to meet the demand. We have had enough; there are no jobs for us and when we raised our voice we were fired at. Today we have blocked the entire State to show that we are united in our demands,” said one of the protestors in Hansi as he slammed the doors of a shop shut with his lathi.

Agitators assembled in Ladwa village refused to cremate the body of Anil Ladwa who died in the police firing on Monday until their demands were met. “We will continue to protest until Jats are assured reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. Those who were killed and injured must be provided appropriate compensation and Subhash Yadav, Superintendent of Police of Hisar, who was removed from his post on Monday, be booked for murder and arrested immediately,” said Samiti president Hawa Singh Sangwan.

Normal life in the region came to a standstill as thousands of people were stranded due to disruption of rail and road traffic.

Traffic on the Hisar-Bhiwani section of the Railways was suspended. The mob blocked the national highway connecting Hisar with Delhi and another highway connecting Hisar with the State capital Chandigarh for the second consecutive day. Roads connecting the towns near Hisar were also blocked.

At Barwala, protesters and locals clashed when the former tried to forcibly close the markets.

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