Tight security after caste violence

Clashes between rival caste groups in HaryanaImage copyright

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The clashes started outside a court complex in Rohtak

Authorities in the northern Indian town of Rohtak have tightened security to control caste-related violence.

At least 15 people were injured on Thursday after a rally by the Jat community, demanding better access to jobs and education, turned violent.

The protesters blocked major highways, stopped railway traffic and clashed with rival caste groups.

The Jat community wants quotas in government jobs, but other caste groups have opposed their demands.

The police have also suspended mobile internet services in Rohtak and banned any gathering of more than four people.

Rohtak’s superintendent of police Shashank Anand said that the measures were taken “to maintain law and order” in the district.

Extra paramilitary forces had been deployed to help the police in keeping the city calm, he added.

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Police have banned any assembly of more than four people

The Haryana state administration has also tightened security in the neighbouring towns of Sonepat and Jhajjar.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held an emergency meeting on Thursday night to asses the situation in the state.

The Jats are currently listed as upper caste but they are demanding the status of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The community’s leaders say that the quotas for OBCs and other lower castes puts them at a disadvantage in government jobs and state-run educational institutes.

The Indian government has divided people from lower castes in three categories as part of its affirmative action policy to offer quotas in jobs and educational institutes.

The communities listed as the Scheduled Castes (SCs) are essentially the lowest in the Hindu caste hierarchy, locally referred to as Dalits.

The Scheduled Tribes (STs) are the people who mostly live in remote areas.

The OBCs are educationally and economically backward but do not face so much exclusion or isolation.

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