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Jat reservation protest turns violent,CM Khattar calls all-party meet

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is set to convene an all-party meet on Friday  after Jat agitation for quota in Rohtak turned violent in which 15 persons were injured.

Mobile internet services have been blocked by Rohtak administration in Rohtak and Jhajjar after  clashes between the protesters and police personnel in Rohtak.Rohtak is the native place of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the parliamentary constituency represented by his son,Deepinder.

“Section 144 has been imposed with immediate effect from Thursday in Rohtak,” Additional Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri said.

Noting that the protesters have been asked to clear the blockades and disperse, he said, “We have warned them first and are hoping they will comply.”

On Thursday, police and the paramilitary troops staged a flag-march to get the town roads cleared from protesters who blocked these in support of their reservation demand.

Traders and advocates clashed outside the court premises at Rohtak during the protest,in which several vehicles were also damaged. Advocates of the district court were protesting against non-inclusion of Jat community in the OBC category outside the court premises from where traders of the city were passing in a procession to submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, police said.

Police and paramilitary forces resorted to lathi-charge and teargas shells to control the situation on Thursday, during which unidentified persons torched some motorcycles and pelted stones. Prohibitory orders were clamped in Rohtak, banning assembly of five or more persons.

The state cabinet appealed to the agitating Jats to call off their agitation in the larger interest of the state.

The administration and the police were fully alert to meet any eventuality and the government has kept all its options open to deal with the situation, Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar told reporters after the Cabinet meet.

Leader of the Opposition Abhay Chautala demanded a special session of the Haryana Assembly to discuss the issues related to Jat reservation.

Normal life was badly hit in the state as the Jat agitation for quotas on Thursday spread to more parts of Haryana after talks between community leaders and the government failed to break the deadlock.

The agitation spread to Kaithal, Karnal, Jind and other districts, disrupting road and rail traffic as protestors blocked various highways and railway lines.

While college and university students had on Wednesday joined the protest at Rohtak, on Thursday students from various places, including Hisar, Kurukshetra and Kaithal also joined them.

Jats are demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions under OBC category.

While rail and road traffic has been worst hit in the Rohtak-Jhajjar region, the epicentre of the protests, Bhiwani, Sonipat, Hisar have also been adversely hit by the agitation.

The protesters, who last evening rejected Khattar’s offer to enhance quota for economically backward classes to include Jats, blocked roads in many places in Panipat which also affected movement of vehicles towards Uttar Pradesh.

Due to the blockades set up by the agitators, Haryana Roadways suspended its bus services on many affected routes. The Rohtak administration imposed prohibitory orders in the entire district banning assembly of five or more persons.

As the protests continued, supply of milk, vegetables, fruits and other items on the national highway connecting Rohtak with other parts of the state and NCR was also affected.

A day after holding talks with the chief minister, All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti’s national president, Yashapal Malik told ,”We reject the offer, it is not technically viable. It is illegal and cannot be implemented.” “We (Jats) cannot be fooled once again, we have been fighting for our right for several years now. The agitation has further spread to Kaithal, Faridabad, Karnal, Palwal on Thursday and by Friday, it will cover entire Haryana,” Malik said.

Jat and Khap leaders had held a four-hour long meeting with Khattar and some of his ministers here on Wednesday during which the chief minister had announced enhancement of the reservation quota under EBC and the annual income ceiling from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

India

Crucial CWC meet of Congress begins

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

Ahead of the eleventh round of meetings between the farmers and the Centre, a crucial meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) began here on Friday to discuss the farmers’ agitation among other issues. Also likely to be discussed is the schedule of the election of a new party president.

Congress General Secretary and national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “CWC meeting begins. Congress President Sonia Gandhi addresses the CWC.”

According to party sources, the virtual meeting being chaired by Sonia Gandhi will discuss Arnab Goswami’s alleged chat leak related to the national security, the Covid-19 situation apart from the ongoing farmers’ agitation.

Sources also said that during the meeting, the schedule of election for the new party chief will also be discussed.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws on the borders of the national capital since November 26 last year, demanding that the three laws be repealed.

On Tuesday, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi slammed the government over the three farm laws, saying they were introduced to destroy the Indian agricultural sector.

On Wednesday, the Congress fielded former Defence Minister A.K. Antony, former Home Minister Sushil Shinde, former Law Minister and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad to corner the government over the alleged chat leaks involving Goswami.

The Congress described the leak of secret information as treason and demanded an immediate enquiry into the matter.

(IANS)

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Lalu Prasad ‘stable and recovering’, to undergo CT scan

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Lalu Prasad Yadav

Incarcerated RJD President Lalu Prasad will undergo a CT scan on Friday to ascertain his exact health condition even as a senior officer said he was “stable and recovering”.

An official at the Hotwar jail in Ranchi said that the former Bihar Chief Minister’s health had caused concern after he complained of uneasiness in breathing on Thursday evening. Subsequently, a team of doctors from Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences examined the RJD leader.

Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta also rushed to the RIMS and met with the doctors treating the veteran politician. Jharkhand Inspector General of Police (Jails) Birendra Bhushon said that Lalu Prasad’s health had deteriorated on Thursday but was now “recovering and stable”. Earlier, Lalu Prasad also underwent a Covid test and was found negative.

Lalu Prasad is suffering from kidney ailment, besides diabetes and high blood pressure. The RIMS doctors have diagnosed that his kidneys are damaged to the extent of 75 per cent. Doctors could go for a dialysis if his kidneys’ functioning deteriorated further.

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Cities

Fire at Delhi’s ITO building, no casualties

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A fire broke out at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO on Friday here. No injuries were reported, and the blaze has been brought under control, the Fire Department said.

The fire started from a meter board of the building. “We received a call around 8.30 a.m. about a fire in the meter board at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO. A total of 12 fire tenders were rushed to the site. The fire was on the second floor of the building,” said Atul Garg, Director Delhi Fire Service.

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