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Jat demonstration turns Haryana into a War Zone

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Photo: http://indianexpress.com

Rohtak: Shops and malls looted, market areas devastated; Haryana’s Rohtak town turned into a ghost town in mere three days. With Jat people’s demonstration for reservation in government jobs and academic institutes, the area resembles a war zone as troops and security forces patrol the area.

Be it the markets in Rohtak, located just 75 km from national capital Delhi, or Jhajjar or Bhiwani, or buildings and roadways buses in the violence-hit areas of Haryana, everything looks like they are in a war zone.

“The losses of traders and businessmen could run into hundreds of crores due to this mindless violence. This is no way to seek reservation in a democratic set up. There is hardly any sign of Haryana Police in the last one week. The government has abandoned people to fend for themselves,” Rohtak-based trader Rakesh Gupta told reporters.

Despite the army deployment in eight districts – Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Hisar, Jind, Kaithal, Sonipat and Panipat – and curfew imposed in five of them, unruly mobs have been on the rampage in several areas, especially in Rohtak and Jhajjar towns.

With hundreds of Jat youths taking control of the agitation and indulging in arson and looting, the focus of the Jat agitation, which was to demand reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, has led to the mindless destruction of government and private property.

“In Rohtak town, despite the army, the mobs looted several shops and set them on fire. No one stopped the mobs. There is total anarchy. We are stuck in our houses for four days. Our food supplies are finishing fast,” said Sarita Kumari, a housewife in Rohtak’s Civil Lines area.

Hooligans, who have joined the ranks of Jat demonstrators, have run amok by setting government and private property on fire, burning buses and private vehicles, blocking roads and highways, disrupting trains and uprooting tracks and indulging in looting and arson.

Be it police stations at some places, isolated railway stations, state transport buses and private vehicles and even railway coaches – immovable and movable property have been torched and damaged at several places.

With people in affected areas accusing the Haryana Police of inaction in the past one week, the state government is on the backfoot.

“A large number of police officials and personnel are from the Jat community. Many are refusing to act against the Jats since it is an emotional matter for them. The police is divided on this matter,” said a senior Haryana Police official told reporters in Chandigarh.

Haryana Home Secretary PK Dass said the police was being asked to control the situation.

“We have been conveyed the apprehension of Jat officials on taking action. We have issued strict directions to all officials. If they refuse to do so, they will face action,” Mr Dass told the media on Sunday.

Demonstrators uprooted the Delhi-Ambala railway track at Rajlu Garhi in Panipat district, disrupting the crucial rail line which connects Delhi with north India.

The NH-1 was blocked in Sonipat district, 50 km from Delhi, stranding thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles on the busy highway. (IANS)

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Facebook Alerts People to Vote on Maharashtra, Haryana Poll Day

Google has also introduced a series of steps to urge the netizens and first-time users in the country to register to vote in the country

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook on Monday activated its election notification feature for India, requesting people to go out and vote for their candidates in the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls and post that they have voted.

Voting started in Maharashtra for the 288-Assembly constituencies, while over 1.83 crore voters in BJP-ruled Haryana are to cast their votes to elect the 90-member legislative Assembly.

Facebook began sending notifications from the morning to its over 300 million users in India, saying “get information about voting and share that you’ve voted.”

Also Read: Tesla Gets an Approval to Manufacture Cars in China

The social networking giant in April joined other social media companies in a voluntary code of ethics for the elections with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

It included measures like a dedicated communications channel for notice and take down after receiving valid legal order, processing of valid requests in the blackout period ahead of voting and voter education efforts.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“Facebook recently launched two new products in India to help people learn about issues they care about and engage with candidates and elected officials in meaningful ways,” Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan said in a blog post.

“Candidate Connect” is designed to give voters accurate information and help people learn more about different candidates.

“Share You Voted” lets people share with friends that they’ve cast their ballots in the elections.

“The products have been customised, based on what we’ve learned from local research, including the community’s desire to hear directly from their candidates,” said Mohan.

Google has also introduced a series of steps to urge the netizens and first-time users in the country to register to vote in the country. (IANS)