Sporadic violence continued in parts of Haryana and the National Capital Region on Monday, following the onset of the Jat quota protests last Wednesday. The Indian Army opened fire in Sonipat after agitators pelted stones at them. PTI reported that three protesters died in the shooting. Protests demanding a bill on reservation for Jats continued, with hundreds of trains affected in North India, and several arterial highways still blocked by agitations.
The Supreme Court on Monday sent a notice to the Centre and the Haryana government asking them to respond to Delhi's petition saying the Jat agitation has disrupted their water supply. The Haryana government told the apex court that the situation was brought under control with the army's help. The water was expected to reach Delhi by 5 pm. The court also expressed its displeasure that Delhi's Water Minister Kapil Mishra did not take strong action, and instead rushed to the court to seek relief, The Times of India reported.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal thanked the army and the Centre for regaining control of Munak Canal, after Jat quota agitators cut off Delhi’s water supply completely. The protesters had damaged the Munak Canal in Haryana, which is the city’s main source of water. According to a PTI report, around 600 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force and two columns of the army took control of the canal at around 4 am, after which repair work was started to ensure water supply to Delhi, officials said. Protesters at the site were evicted.
A special team of the Jal Board had reached the canal on Monday morning. Officials said it may take up to ten days to repair the damage to the carrier line – a cement-lined canal through which water was supplied to the seven plants. The Board will now have to use an old kachcha canal, the older Munak Canal, which has one-third the capacity of the cement-lined one. Mishra had assured people that the water supply will be resumed by evening. Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had also tweeted saying there was no water in his house, and there were “tough days ahead for Delhi”.
The Haryana government on Sunday had sent paramilitary forces and technical teams to Sonepat to try and quell the problems at Munak Canal, The Hindu reported. However, they were unsuccessful at wresting control from the protesters, who had also taken over the local irrigation office near the canal. Schools were closed on Monday because of the impending water crisis and the Delhi Jal Board had made 140 “water filling points” available that would supply tankers from across the city.
Amid increasing disruptions and tensions, the Army took control of the Indian Oil refinery in Panipat, cutting the supply of petrol and diesel to Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, New Delhi and Western UP, The Times of India reported.
The Jat quota protests have been wide-reaching and violent, leaving at least 15 people dead and more than 150 injured. Bowing to the pressure, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Haryana has said it will pass a bill in the next Assembly session giving them reservations.