Jat Balidan divas: Haryana on alert, traffic diverted

Chandigarh: With protesting Jats observing "Balidan Divas" (day of sacrifice) on Sunday 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 on Sunday

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.

The All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), the body spearheading the fresh stir, had announced that they would decide the future course of action on Sunday.

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.

In Hisar district's Ramayan village, the protesters were camping close to the railway tracks and the national highway.

Drone cameras would be used to monitor the agitation.

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" on Sunday.

In view of the fresh round of stir, he said 37 companies of the paramilitary forces have been deployed.

The Jat leaders spearheading the stir had held a first round of talks with a Haryana government-appointed committee of senior bureaucrats last week and the next round was scheduled to take place on Monday.

Akil said the Haryana Police, Central forces and other agencies were coordinating with each other to ensure peace and law and order was maintained.(PTI)