A week-long rioting and looting in about a dozen districts in Haryana was seen leading to about 30 deaths and over 250 injuries. The rioting was conducted by the Jat community in Haryana demanding Other Backward Classes (OBC) status. These violent agitators were demanding quota in education, jobs under 27% set aside for OBC’s and an ordinance to include them in OBC category.
The state's Director General of Police YP Singhal informed that massive violence was seen in the worst-affected districts of Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar. The Jat protest also hit Delhi with the state government announcing the closure of schools in view of the possible water shortage after supply from Haryana was hit.
Agitation and violence continued in Haryana for several days with large group of people attacking common people and even security personnel who were trying to clear road blockade. Soldiers were air-dropped in the riot hit areas after protesters block path by digging up roads. Trucks were stranded for several days as roads to Delhi, Punjab, Himachal, J&K and Chandigarh remain blocked. Petrol pumps run dry in many districts along with essential commodities like milk, vegetables, LPG due to shortage of supply. Schools and shops in many districts remained closed and mobile and internet services also remain affected.
Such was the extent of destruction that witnessed an estimated monetary loss over 20,000 crore. 1,000’s of trains were hit and airlines have raised air tickets to Chandigarh, Amritsar for about 99,000.
Haryana CM Khattar says the demands have been accepted but without any details. Legal hurdles are ahead as if state gives 10% SBC quota it will exceed 50% quota cap set by honourable Supreme Court.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the alleged crime reported by a newspaper; no eyewitness or victims produced yet. “Agitations cannot hold the nation to ransom and be a reason to vandalise public property”, the Supreme Court of India has said. A high-level probe has also been ordered into allegations of at least 10 women being raped by members of a mob in a remote village in Haryana during the recent quota agitation by the Jat community. A Bench of Supreme Court Justices said “parameters should be laid down to pin the blame on organisers and make them pay compensation for agitations which slipped into uncontrolled mob violence against innocents and their property”.
Presently, there is end to the violent Jat agitation which has brought Haryana to its knees.