Chandigarh: Haryana has been put on maximum alert in view of the call for a fresh round of quota agitation from Sunday given by a section of Jats.
During a similar stir a year ago, there were 30 deaths and widespread destruction of property.
As a precautionary measure, section 144 has already been imposed in sensitive districts, including Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar, and at other places in the state, officials said.
“We are fully geared up to deal with the situation. Although the leaders of various agitating organisations have promised to hold dharnas in a peaceful manner, yet the administration is fully geared up to maintain law and order,” Haryana’s additional chief secretary (Home), Ram Niwas said.
Assembly of five or more people in about 500 meters from national and state highways, and railway stations has been banned. Paramilitary forces are out in sensitive areas while heavy police force too has been deployed to maintain strict vigil, officials said.
In view of the agitation plans, the Haryana government has sent a requisition for 55 companies (about 5,500 personnel) of Central paramilitary forces and has also issued call out notice to depute 7,000 Home Guards in the state.
Some companies of paramilitary forces have already reached Haryana, Niwas said.
Rohtak and some of its neighbouring districts, including Sonipat and Jhajjar, had been the worst-hit by the violence which broke out during last year’s Jat stir. It had also affected Delhi as the protesters cut water supply to the national capital and caused massive damage to public property in Haryana.
Rapid Action Force personnel have been deputed at Munak canal, which was damaged by the protesters during last year’s agitation for reservation.
Patrolling by paramilitary and police personnel have been increased in sensitive and extra-sensitive areas. The central forces have also been conducting flag marches in some sensitive areas since yesterday, officials said.
All Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police have been directed to ensure that highways and railway tracks are not obstructed and properties are not damaged, they said.
The call for a fresh stir has been given by some jat outfits, especially those owing allegiance to the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) headed by Yashpal Malik.
A mahapanchayat of some Khaps or caste councils was held in Rohtak on Friday, in which they reiterated their call for holding agitation in a peaceful manner from Sunday and termed those opposing the stir as “government agents”.
The Khap leaders maintained that release of arrested Jat youths, withdrawal of cases registered during last year’s agitation and grant of government jobs to the kin of youths killed during that stir are their immediate demands.
The Haryana government has assured to provide jobs to kin of those killed during violence in last year’s jat agitation.