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Monday, February 22, 2016, Falgun 10, 1422 BS, Jamadiul Awwal 11, 1437 Hijri


Fresh riots, arson in deadly north India caste crisis
Published :Monday, 22 February, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 6

ROHTAK, Feb 21 : Fresh rioting and arson erupted in a north Indian state Sunday in caste protests that have left 10 people dead, and New Delhi faced a water crisis after mobs shut down a key supply.
Thousands of troops with shoot-on-sight orders were deployed on Saturday in Haryana state after week-long protests turned violent, with rioters setting fire to homes and railway stations and blocking highways.
Ten people have been killed and about 150 injured in the state since Friday when officers fired on rioters, Haryana police chief Yash Pal Singal told a press conference.
The Jat rural caste is leading the protests, demanding quotas be set for Jats for highly sought-after government jobs and for university places. Caste members say they are struggling to find places despite India's strong economic growth.
Talks were held in Delhi between Jat leaders,  national Home (interior) Minister Rajnath Singh and the Haryana government run by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Haryana BJP leader Anil Jain said the state government had now agreed to the community's demands. "We have decided in the meeting that Jats will be given reservation through a law in the next assembly session," Jain told reporters after the talks.
The Indian capital's water supplies were hit after mobs forced the shutting of sluice gates at a canal in Haryana which takes water to the neighbouring capital's treatment plants. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced water rationing throughout the city, and said schools would be closed on Monday to conserve supplies.
"Water to be equally rationed amongst all. Pl save water. Schools closed tomo," Kejriwal said on Twitter. Protesters maintained blockades of roads into Haryana, television footage showed. Hundreds armed with sticks halted vehicles along one key route which was also blocked with fallen trees.  
One of India's largest carmakers, Maruti Suzuki, suspended operations at its two Haryana plants after the protests disrupted supplies of components, a spokesman said.     ?AFP









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