Chandigarh, Nov. 15: The Union home ministry has directed the Haryana government to ensure that the protests in Jhajjar against the arrest of five persons on charges of lynching five Dalits last month for allegedly skinning a cow does not spill over to New Delhi.
“We have been asked by the Centre to keep the protests confined to Haryana. But Jhajjar being close to the national capital, there are fears of a fallout in New Delhi,” a senior official said.
He said that with chief minister Om Prakash Chautala on another foreign tour, no official was willing to take a firm decision to quell the protests.
“The situation is volatile and has been mishandled at the local level,” the official added.
Villagers today continued to block roads linking Jhajjar from Gurgaon, Rohtak, Rewari and Delhi.
Apart from the five — Ramesh, Samveer, Mahavir, Surinder and Rajvir — who have been arrested and booked under Section 302 for lynching the Dalits, 15 have been detained for the violent incidents since Wednesday.
Traffic to all places from Dulina, where the lynching took place, and Suraha, from where the five were arrested, has come to a standstill with protestors squatting on the road. Over 400 trucks with supplies to Delhi have been stranded.
Unconfirmed reports said protesters had clashed with the police in various parts of the district.
Yesterday, over 20 villages had called a maha panchayat to demand the release of the five charged with the lynchings. They had also decided to block all roads in the region till November 20.
Official sources here said the protesters had damaged the Dulina police post and pelted stones at vehicles. The highways have been blocked with tractors.
The police resorted to baton charges at several places to disperse the mobs. “But each time they come back. We are sending additional police personnel along with mounted corps to control the situation,” an official said.
Rohtak deputy commissioner L.R. Banswal, who was asked to conduct a probe into the lynchings, is likely to submit his report by the end of this month. So far, over 100 people have deposed before Banswal.
With chief minister Chautala scheduled to return only on November 23, district officials said the agitation against the arrests is likely to continue.