One person was killed and eight others were critically injured after police opened fire to disperse an enraged mob at the Secunderabad railway station on Friday in protest of the Union Defence Ministry’s new ‘Agnipath’ scheme.
The injured were taken to Secunderabad’s Gandhi Hospital. Hundreds of candidates for army recruitment tests vandalised Telangana’s main railway station.
“After lathi-charges and tear gas shells failed to control the protests, the general railway police (GRP) forces were forced to open fire on the angry mob,” a senior police official said.
GRP forces allegedly opened fire on the mob 15 times in order to control it. The stone pelting also injured two police officers. Railways Director General Sandeep Shandilya and other senior officials have arrived at the scene and are monitoring the situation.
Protesters also pelted stones and set fire to a couple of train bogies, in addition to causing damage to other railway properties.
The mob even vandalised state road transport corporation buses outside the railway station, forcing south-central railway authorities to halt all trains entering the station immediately.
According to police, hundreds of protesters stormed the railway station and used sticks and stones to damage stalls and offices on platforms 1 and 2. Stones were thrown at stationed trains, forcing passengers to flee for safety. The incident also injured some passengers.
Protesters later set fire to two bogies of the Kolkata-bound East Coast Express as it was leaving the station. They also set some bogies of the Ajanta Express and the multi-modal transport system (MMTS) trains on fire.
The protesters even dumped railway cargo on the tracks and set fire to it. In the process, the tracks were completely destroyed. It took five fire engines more than two hours to extinguish the fire at the station and its grounds.