5 more killed in Haryana violence, state seeks more Armed forces

Chandigarh, Feb 20 (IANS) Five more people were killed in Haryana on Saturday as the violence linked to the Jat agitation escalated, forcing the state government to seek additional columns of the army and more companies of paramilitary forces to control the situation.

“Four people lost their lives in district Jhajjar when armed forces opened fire to quell arson and firing, and one was killed in district Kaithal. Five people were injured in district Rohtak. Apart from this, 10 people, including some police personnel, were injured in district Jhajjar,” a state government spokesman said here.

Three people were killed in firing by security forces in Rohtak on Friday.

The request for additional security forces came as Haryana remained on the boil on Saturday due to violence by Jat protestors in several districts.

The losses due to government and private property being set on fire, buses and private vehicles being burnt, roads and highways being blocked, trains being disrupted and tracks being uprooted and free-for-all in looting and arson by hooligans, could run into thousands of crores.

“The requisition for additional force was made by Crisis Management Group comprising the chief secretary, additional chief secretary, home and director general of police who held a meeting with union cabinet secretary, chief of army staff, chief of air force and Director IB through video conference from here,” the spokesman said.

He said that the people behind the violence were being identified and 154 First Information Reports (FIRs) have been registered.

“Army and police personnel have been deployed in adequate number in Rohtak to control the situation. 15 companies of India Reserve Battalion and Haryana Armed Police, three companies of paramilitary forces and two columns of army have already been deployed,” the spokesman said.

He said that the central government is providing a helicopter for monitoring measures to control the agitation and also spray tear gas to disperse mobs, especially at blockades.

The spokesman said that Bhiwani town remained peaceful whereas in Hisar district, two people were injured in a village near Hansi as a result of a clash between two groups.

Joint teams of the army and police carried out a flag march in Bhiwani town on Saturday, urging people not to come out of their houses as curfew had been imposed and to maintain peace in their areas.