Indian authorities have imposed curfews and shoot-to-kill orders in a northern state after two days of violent protests over caste rights. Three people have died and about 80 injured in the clashes involving the Jat community in Haryana state. The Jats are currently listed as upper caste but the demonstrators want job quotas similar to those granted to lower castes.
The army has been deployed to restore order. Violence flared on Friday, with protesters in the town of Rohtak hurling rocks at security forces, blocking traffic, attacking vehicles and attempting to set the finance minister’s home on fire. One demonstrator was shot dead in clashes with police. The unrest continued on Saturday, with protesters torching the station master’s office at a railway station. Talks with the local government have failed to quell their anger.
“The protest will only end when government accepts our demands,” Yashapal Malik, the president of a Jat organisation that is leading the protest, told the AFP news agency. India grants a proportion of its jobs and positions to people from the lower castes in a bid to end discrimination. But Jat leaders say these quotas put them at a disadvantage in government jobs and state-run educational institutes.