The town said to have been pampered by Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda in his terms as chief minister, Rohtak has borne large amount of the brunt of the Jats’ agitation for job reservation. All major places in the town have faced arson, amid violence and loot.
The Model Town area, a shopping hub that houses all the big brands, is covered in ash with at least 30 stores having been burnt. These include Rohtak’s signature sweet shop, Gulab Rewri, while the mob also burnt two private hospitals in this locality.
Restaurants and hotels were also set on fire. Hotel Rivoli, where Sachin Tendulkar and other cricketers stayed during his last Ranji Trophy match held in Lahli village, is burnt to an extent that it’s hard to imagine there being a beautiful building at its spot just three days ago. Hotel Viceroy too has been robbed and destroyed.
All the major eateries where a Rohtak resident would turn to for a fancy evening were set ablaze. This includes the local McDonald’s, Pappu Bakery and Blueberry Cake Shop. All the liquor stores too were robbed and then burnt.
Another major target of the arsonist were the car showrooms. The Chevrolet showroom on Sonepat Road saw cars being taken away and then being burnt on the road wherever the fuel finished. The Hyundai showroom at Jind bypass was completely burned with more than a dozen cars inside. At the Toyota showroom, agitators burnt an Innova and destroyed three other cars and a motorcycle parked there. The mob also wrecked more than 50 computers and other furniture at the showroom.
The newly-built showroom of Maruti Suzuki, Nexa, was also burnt, while arson destroyed four cars and a bike at the Honda showroom on Hisar Road.
The vice-president of LPS Bossard that owned the franchisee of Honda, Nikhlesh Jain, said, “My family in Delhi wants us to shift the business out of this city now. All this destruction happened while the police and the government did nothing. I have no hopes that the government will help us in any way.”
One of the biggest projects to set up shop at the Rohtak Industrial Model Town (IMT) — Asian Paints — was also burnt. Already the industrial town was drawing flak from owners due to robberies.
The only mall in the city, Merian Skytech Mall in Sector 3, was robbed and burned; so was the market in Gandhi Camp.
Students at the most prominent educational institution in Rohtak, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) functioning on the Maharshi Dayanand University campus, were suffering shortage of ration.