With violent protests by the Jat community demanding reservation under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category disrupting rail and road traffic in Haryana, the Indian Railways on Friday said that the agitation has affected supply of coal to power plants in Punjab.
Railway PRO, Anil Saxena, said that over 550 passenger trains and 20 goods trains have been affected due to the stir, which has taken a violent turn in many parts of the state.
“Due to public agitation in some areas of Haryana, close to Sonipat, Panipat, Hissar and JInd, the railway traffic has been affected badly. The trains going from Delhi to Haryana, Jammu, Punjab and also to Rajasthan via Hissar Bikaner have been affected. So, far more than 550 trains have been diverted, which includes passenger as well as mail and express trains,” Saxena told ANI.
“In addition to this, 20 goods trains have been affected. It has also affected the supply of coal to power plants in Punjab,” he added.
The strike, into the sixth day, has crippled road and rail traffic across the state and shut down educational institutions in many places.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had earlier in the day appealed to agitators to maintain law and order and a peaceful atmosphere in the state while chairing an all party meet to discuss the ongoing Jats reservation strike in Jhajjar and Rohtak.
The pro-reservation protests by Jats in Haryana had turned violent on Thursday, with several people being injured and reports of clashes between protesters and police personnel in Rohtak.
The state government ordered the district administration to block the use of mobile internet services in Jhajjar and Rohtak in the wake of the agitation.
Media reported that police and paramilitary forces had to resort to baton charges and firing of teargas shells to bring the situation under control.