Protesters from the Jat community, an agricultural district in northern India, have severely damaged the equipment which brings water from the Munak canal in Haryana state to New Delhi, restricting the capital's main water supply. New Delhi receives approximately 60 per cent of its water from Haryana state. Nearly 10,000 soldiers and border guards have been summoned to silence the protests, with the Indian army managing to regain control of the canal, raising hopes that a water crisis in the metropolis of more than 20 million people can be averted.

"The army has taken control of Munak canal. The canal was damaged by protesters and repair work will have to be done. We have dispatched a team from the Delhi Water Board to assess the damage and the time and money required to repair it. We will try to supply some water in the evening," Delhi's Water Resource Minister Kapil Mishra said. He added: "The Delhi Water Board will supply water to households as soon as it reaches them after treatment. However, the water crisis will continue for a few more days."

Water was initially expected to reach the capital within a few hours. The riots across north India have involved thousands from the Jat rural caste community, and have resulted in at least 15 deaths and more than 100 people injured.

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Residents fill their containers with water from a municipal tank in New Delhi, IndiaAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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Demonstrators from the Jat community shout slogans during a protest in New DelhiAdnan Abidi/ Reuters
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Indian security forces secure the Munak canal, which supplies water to New Delhi, near Bindroli village in Haryana's Sonipat districtSajjad Hussain/ AFP
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A woman carries empty containers to fetch water from a municipal water tap in New DelhiAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters

The Jats, who make up a quarter of the state's population, are mostly rural landowners, who have lost out as population growth has shrunk the size of family farms as two years of drought have hit their crops. They are demanding more opportunities, while others complain of discrimination because of India's caste system.

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A portion of the Munak canal, damaged during the protests, near Bindroli village in Haryana's Sonipat districtSajjad Hussain/ AFP
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Demonstrators from the Jat community block the Delhi-Haryana national highway during a protest at Sampla village in HaryanaAdnan Abidi/ Reuters
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People stand behind damaged motorcycles and a van that were set alight by protesters during a demonstration by members of the Jat community in Rohtak, HaryanaReuters
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People ride their bicycles close to a damaged motorcycle attacked by protesters during a demonstration by the Jat community in Rohtak, HaryanaReuters
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Demonstrators from the Jat community sit on top of a school bus during a protest at Sampla village in HaryanaAdnan Abidi/ Reuters
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Demonstrators from the Jat community eat as they block the Delhi-Haryana national highway in New DelhiAdnan Abidi/ Reuters
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Residents wait to fetch water in New DelhiAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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A girl waits to fill up water in her containers in New DelhiAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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Children sit on a road blockade by the Delhi-Haryana highway during a protest at Sankhol village in HaryanaAdnan Abidi/ Reuters
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Children fill water from a municipal tanker in New DelhiAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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Residents wait to collect water in New Delhi, which receives approximately 60 per cent of its supply from the Haryana stateAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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Residents with their empty containers wait to fill water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, IndiaAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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Residents fill water in their containers from a municipal tap in New Delhi, IndiaAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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People walk past an overturned mobile urinal during a demonstration by the Jat community in Bahadurgarh, HaryanaAdnan Abidi/ Reuters
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A woman arranges her empty containers as she waits to fill water from a municipal tap in New Delhi, IndiaAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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Women fill up their containers from a municipal tap in New Delhi amid the country's water crisisAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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A woman waits to fill water in her containers from a municipal tap in New Delhi, IndiaAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
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A girl searches for water in New Delhi, IndiaAnindito Mukherjee/ Reuters