Violence Protests against Agnipath Scheme affects 340 trains across country

18 June, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

The agitation by youths against the freshly inaugurated Agnipath recruiting initiative disrupted 340 train trains

The agitation by youths against the freshly inaugurated Agnipath recruiting initiative disrupted 340 train trains.

The Union Defence Ministry launched the Agnipath Scheme on Tuesday with the goal of enabling a younger profile of the Armed Forces and providing a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ while also bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces. According to the Railways Ministry’s latest data, 94 Mail Express and 140 Passenger Trains have been cancelled, while 65 Mail Express and 30 Passenger Trains have been partially cancelled.

In addition, the railways have chosen to divert 11 Mail Express trains for today.

According to a statement released by Northern Railways, 12 trains were scheduled to start on June 17: Kamakhya-Bhagat Ki Kothi Express (15624), Darbhanga-New Delhi Bihar Sampark Kranti Express (12565), Raxual-Anand Vihar Terminal Satyagrah Express (15273), Saharsa-New Delhi Special (02563), Howrah-New Delhi Duronto Express (12273), Jaynagar-Anand Vihar.

Apart from that, another train, the Bhagat Ki Kothi Kamakhya Express, with the number 15623, was also cancelled, with its journey set to begin on June 21.

Several trains in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana were vandalised and destroyed by agitators demanding that the recruitment scheme be scrapped immediately during the protest, which is now in its third day.

As the railway properties were being damaged, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw urged protestors not to engage in violent protests or cause damage to railway property.

Vaishnaw in his appeal stated “Railways are national assets, and it is our obligation to ensure that they are not harmed or damaged. I implore everyone to refrain from engaging in any violent protests or causing damage to the railways’ property. Railways are the country’s property. It is our property, and it is just for your use.”

However, rioters set fire to 4-5 railway engines and 2-3 coaches in Hyderabad. AK Gupta, Divisional Railway Manager at Secunderabad Railway Station, assured that the degree of the damage would be assessed.

“One individual was injured, according to the information. Train services have been temporarily halted for passenger safety reasons “Gupta explained.

Similar incidents were seen in Uttar Pradesh, a mob vandalized a train at the Ballia railway station.

As the agitation continued for the second day today, the youth halted the movement of trains in various districts, Bihar remained the most impacted state due to protests.

Earlier in the day, the East Central Railway announced the cancellation of nine trains and the shortening of nine others, while disgruntled demonstrators set fire to train coaches at Islampur railway station in Bihar’s Nalanda.

Analyzing the violent protests, the East Central Railway released helpline numbers for many railway stations.