Authorities in a north Indian state have begun lifting a curfew in key towns and protesters have removed roadblocks after clashes left 12 people dead during their demonstrations for government benefits.

Government forces also Monday secured a canal in Haryana state, which provides 60 percent of New Delhi's water needs, easing fears of a shortage. New Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said engineers were repairing portions of a reservoir damaged by protesters.

Police say the situation is improving in Rohtak district, which bore the brunt of attacks by the protesters in the underprivileged Jat community, who demanded quotas in jobs and educational institutions.

With the state government accepting their demands, Jat leaders are expected to formally end their protests later Monday.