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1 Dead as Protests for Caste Benefits Turn Violent in India

  • Associated Press

Police say paramilitary forces shot and killed one person as protests for government benefits turned violent in northern India.

Thousands of people belonging to the Jat agricultural community were protesting on Friday in Rohtak, a town in Haryana state, to demand caste quota benefits, such as guaranteed government jobs or university spots.

Police officer Saurabh Singh says up to 20 people were injured in the clashes as protesters also fired and hurled rocks at paramilitary forces.

New Delhi Television news channel said the protesters also burned cars and trucks, blocked traffic and even attacked a state minister's home.

India's constitution includes a system of affirmative action for people in the lowest castes to help them overcome discrimination. The government has expanded the number of groups qualifying for quotas, called reservations.