Thousands of policemen were deployed, metro and road traffic curtailed and prohibitory orders imposed in parts of the national capital in view of the planned march to Parliament tomorrow by Jat protesters from Haryana and neighbouring states who are demanding reservation. The city was virtually on tenterhooks following protesters' threat to block entry points and various agencies involved in providing essential services have been instructed to make necessary arrangements so that people do not face any inconvenience because of the stir. Security has been tightened as a similar agitation by the Jats had resulted in large-scale violence in Haryana in February last year, leaving 30 people dead and more than 300 people injured.
Violence broke out today in Fatehabad, 200 km from here, is Haryana as Jat protesters clashed with police while moving towards Delhi, leaving four policemen including a Deputy Superintendent of Police injured.
The traffic flow in the city is likely to be hit severely as the agitators have announced that the magnitude of the protest will be large this time and it will be felt across Delhi.
The Centre had yesterday directed governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to invoke CrPC 144 to stop Jat protesters and has mobilised 247 companies (about 24,700 personnel) of paramilitary forces.
Delhi Police has also cancelled leaves of its personnel till further orders and imposed prohibitory orders and several traffic restrictions to prevent Jat community members from going ahead with their protest.
The All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is spearheading the agitation demanding reservations in education and government jobs, has given a call for a march to the national capital to gherao Parliament and to hold dharnas on the Delhi border blocking all highways to press for its demands.
Metro trains will not travel beyond the city's borders from 11.30 PM while 12 stations in Central Delhi will be shut from 8 PM till further orders.
The affected stations will be Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Lok Kalyan Marg, Janpath, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, R K Ashram Marg, Pragati Maidan, Khan Market and Shivaji stadium.
However, interchange facility will be available at the stations. Several schools have been closed in the city. As directed by Delhi Police, services will not be available at Metro Yellow line stations at Gurgaon, Blue Line stations at Noida and Violet Line stations at Faridabad. Roads like Kamal Ataturk Marg, Safdarjung Road, Kautilya Marg, Kautilaya T Point Near Bihar Bhawan, route from Teen Murti to Gole Methi roundabout and Zakir Hussain Road for the commuters coming from Nizamuddin to India Gate will be closed from 8 PM onwards today. Other routes between Ring Road and San Martin Marg, Amrita Shergill from Lodhi Road, Max Mueller Mag from Lodhi Road, Arch Bishop Macarious from Lodhi Road and all lanes leading to Panchkuia road except Mandir Marg, RK Ashram Marg and Hospital Road will be closed from 11 PM onwards tomorrow. "Bona fide residents, employees working in offices situated in Lutyens' Delhi, emergency vehicles, entrance exam candidates, ambulance, hearse van, fire brigade, school buses and those who have come to the area for some work will only be allowed entry after furnishing proof," a senior police official said. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also issued advisory for class 10 and 12 students appearing for board examination tomorrow to reach the examination centres well before the scheduled time to avoid any inconvenience in anticipation of the gherao. A high alert has also been sounded in Haryana and the state DGP K P Singh said all highways and other roads passing through the state will remain open so that students do not face any problems in the wake of Jat protester. All security measures have been taken, so that people, especially students who are appearing in the CBSE Board examinations on March 20, may travel through the state without any fear, he said. "Security measures have been put in place at examination centres so that students and their guardians may not face any problem," the DGP said in an advisory issued here today. In view of the Jats threatening to "choke" Delhi tomorrow and ghearo Parliament, he said ban had been placed on plying tractor-trolleys to Delhi, besides using tractor-trolleys as a means of transport in Haryana and Delhi. He advised the people not to ply tractor-trolleys to avoid facing any inconvenience. Singh said strict security measures had been put in place throughout the state and assured that the police was making all endeavour to ensure that peace prevails in Haryana. The Jats have been sitting on dharna in various parts of Haryana since January 29. They are demanding reservations in government jobs and educational institutions, besides withdrawing of criminal cases registered against several youths of the community, release of those lodged in jail, and compensation and government jobs to the next of kin of those killed in last year's agitation.