After an intensified protest last year, as the Jat stir enters its 22nd day, the Haryana government has blocked internet services in Rohtak; while the sale of liquor will remain banned till Monday. The state administration has also been keeping a close eye on the All-India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is organising the Balidan Diwas, today.
With protesting Jats observing “Balidan Divas” (day of sacrifice) and threatening to intensify their agitation for reservation, Haryana is on high alert with maximum deployment of forces to prevent any untoward incident. The agitation seeking reservation in education and government jobs for the Jat community among other demands entered its 22nd day. The protesters have said they will bring thousands of supporters to all 20 dharna sites in the 19 districts.
As a precautionary measure, the Haryana Roadways suspended its bus service for today on some routes falling in the sensitive districts including Hisar, Rohtak, Kaithal and Sonipat, a state roadways official said. AIJASS, the body spearheading the fresh stir, had announced that they would decide the future course of action today. AIJASS president Yashpal Malik had said, “February 19 would be observed as ‘Balidan Divas’ at different places in the state and some parts of the country in memory of those who lost their lives during last year’s agitation in Haryana.”
Anticipating huge gathering later in the day at the sit-in site in Jassia village of Rohtak district, the district administration has diverted Rohtak-bound traffic coming from outside to routes via Kharkhodda, Lakhan Majra and Gohana. Except vehicles participating in Jat stir sit-in, no other traffic would ply on Rohtak-Panipat highway from Rohtak Gol Chowk till Gohana.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said here that so far there was no report of any untoward incident. He said the protesting Jats had been invited for second round of talks tomorrow. Hisar Range IG, O P Singh said they were in regular touch with the organisers and were keeping an eye on the situation. Haryana’s ADGP, Mohd Akil said there will be “maximum deployment of forces from Haryana and of the forces from outside the state” today.
(With inputs from agencies)