Rohtak/Chandigarh: The situation in Haryana continued to remain tense on Saturday due to ongoing agitation carried out by Jat protesters, with army personnel deployed in eight districts.
Soldiers were airlifted earlier on Saturday to the violence-hit Rohtak town after the protesters dug up roads to block the entry of the military.
The agitation began as Jats are demanding reservation for the community in government jobs and educational institutions.
Looting and arson continued in the town through Friday night with unruly mobs targeting malls, shops and other buildings and many of them were set on fire.
Indian Air Force helicopters did several sorties to transport soldiers into some parts of Rohtak town.
"Around 20-30 troops were being brought into Rohtak town by choppers. They will be deployed in areas which are under siege of the Jat protesters," a senior officer told IANS.
Authorities in Rohtak asked people not to venture out of their houses after 9.30 a.m. as the army prepared for a flag march.
The army staged a flag-march in Bhiwani town. Officials said that the situation was under control.
Reports said that national highway No. 1 (NH-1) was blocked by protesters in Sonipat district, 50 km from Delhi. The Delhi-Ambala railway track remained blocked since Friday evening. Hundreds of passengers were stranded as railway authorities cancelled several trains on the route.
Nearly 550 trains were either cancelled or diverted since the agitation began a week ago.
On Friday, the agitation that started a week ago, got even worse and resulted in the death of three people and dozens, including security personnel, were injured.
The mob also attacked the office of the Rohtak range inspector general of police (IGP) and set the house of Finance Minister Abhimanyu on fire.
Jat leader Hawa Singh Sangwan said that the youth have taken over the agitation.
"They do not have any organised leader and hence the violence is happening. Some mischievous elements have infiltrated the mobs," he said.
Authorities have also blocked internet and SMS services in the affected districts.
Police station, petrol pump set afire in Meham
Tension prevailed in Meham in the district, which has been worst hit by the Jat stir for quota, after a mob of about 2000-2500 people went on the rampage setting on fire a police station, a petrol pump, a government building and a banquet hall today.
"The police station has been set on fire by a group of about 2000-2500 people. They went on rampage today and also set on fire a petrol pump, a government building and a banquet hall," Sub Inspector and SHO of Meham Police Station, Rajender Singh said.
He said the situation was tense in the area and additional forces have been summoned to bring the situation under control.
Meham falls in Rohtak district, which has been worst-hit district by the ongoing Jat stir.
The Army is out in the district to bring the situation under control.
Jat reservation: Agitators set on fire Budha Khera railway station
Jat agitators on Saturday set on fire the office of Budha Khera station master.
The station master was not present at the scene, but it has been learnt that signal panel (which indicates railway traffic) has been destroyed in the fire.
The train services have been badly hit in the state in the wake of the pro-reservation agitation.
Passenger trains going from Delhi to Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu have been affected.
Meanwhile the army and para-military personell have also been called in eight districts of the state after one person was killed and 21 injured in police action as the Jat protest for quota turned violent.
The rampaging mobs set ablaze the state finance minister's house besides several government and private properties.
Protesters also took some police personnel captive besides going on a rampage at many places including Rohtak, Jhajjar and Hansi, targeting police and private vehicles, buildings housing offices.
Jats: Agitators set on fire Haryana minister's school, mall
A school, belonging to a state Minister Capt Abhimanyu, and a shopping mall in the city were today set on fire by the agitating Jat community members, who are protesting across the state seeking reservation in the government jobs under OBC category.
Police said the protesters set on fire a school, R N Mall and shops adjacent to it in the city.
Earlier, the agitators had burnt the house of the Minister, who represents Jat community, and camp office of the local BJP MLA Manish Kumar Grover at his residence here.
The minister, who holds key Finance portfolio in Manohar Lal Khattar-led government, said he was saddened by the arson across various places in the state.
Appealing for peace, he said he was in favour of finding a solution to the issue and with the community members but opposed to arson.
Meanwhile, the protesters also set on fire the roadways workshop here besides setting on blaze around four state owned transport buses.
Rohtak is under curfew with authorities have ordered shoot at sight to maintain law and order.