Agnipath Protest: Demonstrations have turned violent in many parts of the country in protest against the Centre’s new scheme ‘Agnipath’ related to the recruitment of soldiers. Protesters opposing the plan torched several coaches of the Indian Railways on Friday. In Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Telangana and Bihar, railways have been damaged due to violent demonstrations by protesters.
Meanwhile, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has appealed to the protesters not to violently protest against the Agneepath scheme. The Union Railway Minister has said that I request everyone that Railways is the property of you and the nation. Do not perform violently in any way. Railway property is for your service, so don’t damage it at all.
The protest of the angry youth against the scheme in Bihar continued for the third day on Friday and the protesters torched 28 bogies of three trains. In Samastipur district, protesters torched 10 coaches of the Bihar Sampark Kranti Express train from New Delhi to Darbhanga. Around 10 coaches of Bihar Sampark Kranti Express train going from Delhi to Jaynagar have been badly damaged.
A video of youths raising slogans and vandalizing Ballia-Varanasi MEMU and Ballia-Shahganj trains is doing the rounds on the internet. They also allegedly pelted stones near the railway godown and targeted private shops on the railway station platform. The students tried to break the window of an empty train compartment parked in the yard and tried to set a bogie on fire. However, the fire was brought under control immediately.
In Haryana, youths aspiring to join the army burnt wheels on the streets and some youths sat on railway tracks in Narwana and blocked the Jind-Bathinda rail route. More than 40 youths were arrested for pelting stones at vehicles on National Highway-19 in Ballabhgarh. Lathi-charged was used to disperse the protesters.
On Friday, there was a fierce demonstration in the southern state of Telangana against ‘Agneepath’. During this, the police hurled abuses in the air to disperse the protesters who ransacked the Secunderabad railway station. The protesters set fire to some coaches of three trains. However, no passenger was injured in these incidents.
Tension prevails in Secunderabad railway station and surrounding areas, after the action people started running here and there. Shops located near the railway station are closed. 2 people have died during the protest against ‘Agneepath’ in Secunderabad. At the same time, information about 13 people injured has come to the fore.
In Lakhisarai, protesters torched the Vikramshila Express train from New Delhi to Bhagalpur. 12 bogies of this train were damaged due to fire. On receiving information about the incident, efforts are being made by the RPF and the local police to control the situation.
Hundreds of protesting youth blocked the Yamuna Expressway in Jewar area of Gautam Budh Nagar against the Agneepath scheme of military recruitment. Due to this, the vehicles coming from Noida to Agra and Agra to Noida were stuck in the jam for a long time. However, there has been no incident of sabotage here. The DCP said that due to the demonstration of the youth, the traffic was disrupted for a long time.
Haryana government has suspended mobile internet and SMS services in Ballabhgarh area of Faridabad district for 24 hours as a precautionary measure following violent protests in Palwal. This order of the Home Department came into effect from 12 o’clock on Thursday night. All SMS (messaging) services including mobile internet, simultaneous sending of multiple SMS (except banking and mobile recharge) have been suspended in the area to maintain law and order and curb rumours. All ‘dongle’ services provided on mobile networks have also been stopped.