The Haryana government said it was ready to give reservation to the Jat community under the Other Backward Classes category after protests turned violent on Friday, reported The Times of India. The army was deployed in parts of the state and shoot at sight orders were issued, after one protestor died in police firing and a Border Security Force official killed. After an all-party meeting, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that opposition leaders also consented to the quota demands to end agitations. Khattar added that a committee headed by the chief secretary would also submit a report on the issue.
Authorities had earlier imposed Section 144 in the Rohtak district, which prohibits the assembly of more than 10 people in an area. Mobile internet services were also blocked in Rohtak and Jhaggar to prevent the situation from worsening. One person was killed and nine injured after police opened fire on the protestors, while agitators also attacked Haryana minister Captain Abhimanyu Singh's house and set his home and car on fire. A mob also vandalised the Deputy Inspector General's office and police vehicles, and one protester shot a Border Security Force Jawan. The Indian Express reported that the protests have disrupted more than 56 trains as well as bus services in the state. Home Minister Rajnath Singh condoled the deaths on Friday and appealed for peace, saying that violence could not solve any problem in a democracy.
The National President of the All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, Yashpal Malik, had said, “The agitation will be taken to every state,” and added that protests would begin in Faridabad, Palwal and Karnal on Friday. According to Rohtak Superintendent of Police Shashank Anand, 15 contingents of BSF personnel were deployed to control the situation. Schools and colleges will remain closed till February 22 as a precautionary measure.
Jats had rejected the state’s offer of inclusion in the economically backward class with 20% quota, saying they want reservation in government jobs under the OBC category. Khattar has asked a committee of Indian Administrative Service officers to look into the issue of Jat reservation and the committee is expected to bring out its report by March 31.