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Water Crisis in Delhi Over Caste-Related Job Unrest
International

Water Crisis in Delhi Over Caste-Related Job Unrest

The Indian capital Delhi is facing a severe water crisis after a key supply was cut during protests over jobs. Demonstrators from the Jat community in the neighboring state of Haryana damaged equipment in the Munak canal, a major source of water to Delhi.
The city has introduced strict water rationing. Some areas could run dry on Sunday, officials warned, and schools will not open on Monday, BBC reported.
Protesters want guaranteed jobs under India’s caste quota system. The Jats are currently listed as upper caste.
They argue this puts them at a disadvantage in government jobs and at state-run educational institutes and are demanding job quotas similar to those granted to lower castes.
At least nine people were killed as violence continued on Saturday. Protesters went on the rampage despite a curfew and the deployment of the army, which is reported to have opened fire on them in the districts of Rohtak and Jhajjar.
The violence has forced the closure of several key roads and national highways, and paralyzed the railway system in north India. The bus service between India and Pakistan has been affected, too, with passengers left stranded.
On Friday protesters in Rohtak hurled rocks at security forces while blocking traffic, attacking vehicles and attempting to set the finance minister’s home on fire.
The local Delhi government has approached the Supreme Court seeking its intervention in the water crisis.
A year ago, the Supreme Court removed Jats from the list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) benefiting from the system.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has already said that the government is ready to agree to the demands of the protesters “within the ambit of the constitution”.

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