Jat agitation spreads to districts adjoining Hisar
As the district administration failed to accept the demand of Jat protesters to release their leaders by Friday afternoon, community members organized rail and road blockades in the adjoining districts of Jind, Bhiwani and Fatehabad. All roads leading to Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan were blocked by the Jat protesters, while Hisar continued to be under siege.
At Mayyar village, the epicentre of the protests, thousands of Jat protesters surrounded the body of Sandeep Raj, a youth allegedly killed in police firing. The protesters, including elderly men, women, youths and girls, assembled along the railway tracks near Ramayana. They demanded the immediate release of their leaders and belongings taken away by police during a clash with the protesters.
Jat leader Suresh Koth told mediapersons that Sandeep would be cremated only after their leaders were released from jail.
Meanwhile, Hisar deputy commissioner Amit Kumar Aggarwal asserted that the demand of protesters was difficult to accept as Jat leaders were in judicial custody and they would have to apply for bail if the community leaders wanted them to be free.
Meanwhile, a sarv khap panchayat was held in Jind on Friday to discuss the impasse between Jat protesters and Haryana government, which ended without any outcome.
The protesters disrupted traffic by placing stones and trees on National Highway-10 at Mayyar village. They also damaged the railway track by removing safety pins at Ramayana crossing.
Koth said they had given an ultimatum to the administration to release Jat Aarakshan Samiti leaders as also return the belongings of the protesters, but administration had failed to do so.
He said the Jat protesters held similar demonstrations in Bhiwani, Fatehabad and Jind districts on Friday after the administration failed to heed their demands. "We will not talk to anyone in the government or administration now," he asserted.
Deputy commissioner Amit Kumar Aggarwal warned that the army had been alerted and the administration would not tolerate violence in the district.
IGP Arshinder Singh Chawla said a case has been registered regarding Sandeep's killing, as it was not a natural death.
Investigations were on to ascertain how Sandeep died in the firing, he added.
A delegation of khap panchayats led by Sube Singh met the arrested Jat leaders in jail. The Jat leaders said they would decide on lifting of blockades and cremating Sandeep only after they were released. They, however, added that the protest in support of reservation would continue.
Two khap leaders Pratap Singh Dahiya and Inder Singh Hooda met protesters and asked them to cremate the body of Sandeep. However, the protesters paid no heed and demanded that the administration release their leaders first.
Haryana director general of police Ranjiv Dalal, who is camping here for the last three days, on Friday appealed to the protesters and family of Sandeep to cremate the body.
He alleged that some outsiders were misguiding the locals. The police, he added, had exercised restraint and the protesters should not consider it a weakness. In order to maintain peace, adequate number of CRPF, ITBP, paramilitary forces and Haryana police personnel have been posted in the area, the DGP added.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Amit Aggarwal denied any government move to release the arrested Jat leaders. He warned anti-social elements against damaging public or private property. He said strict legal action would be taken against the guilty.