Quota stir: Centre orders use of force to clear blockades by Jats

At least 6,500 paramilitary forces besides Army columns were deployed to assist the Harayan government to restore peace after several days of violence.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 22, 2016, 23:16 PM IST

New Delhi: The Centre on Monday directed security forces to forcefully clear all blockades put by Jats, whose violent agitation has paralysed normal life in Haryana.

The clear instruction was given to the central security personnel deployed to assist the Haryana administration to bring back normalcy as early as possible as there is a feeling of a breakdown in the law-and-order situation, a senior government official said.

Protesting Jats were squatting on highways, state roads, railway tracks, canals and dams in Haryana, disrupting normal life.

"The security forces were asked to use force to clear all the places where the protesters were squatting affecting communication network and water supply," the official said.

As the National Highway 1, lifeline of Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, was blocked for the third consecutive day, the central government has given top most priority to clear the vital roadlink.

Railway link between Delhi and Ambala and beyond was also snapped due to the protests and subsequent violence by the agitating Jats, who have been demanding reservation in jobs.

As road and train communication links were disrupted, there have been reports of sky rocketing airfare between Delhi and Chandigarh.

The National Highway 10 connecting Hisar, Jind and Rohtak with Delhi has also been blocked completely and instruction has been issued to clear the road too.

Security forces were also asked to take strong action against anyone who indulges in violence, damaging public and private property.

At least 6,500 paramilitary forces besides Army columns were deployed to assist the Harayan government to restore peace after several days of violence.

The central government was particularly anxious that despite an announcement of accepting their demands, the Jats were yet to shun violence and blockades were continuing.

Last night, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced that a committee headed by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has been formed to look into the demand for reservation in central government jobs for Jats.

Earlier, BJP general secretary Anil Jain had announced that the BJP government in Haryana will bring a legislation in the coming session of the Haryana assembly to give OBC status to the Jats.