New Delhi [India]: As many as 340 train services were affected on Friday due to youth’s agitation against the recently launched Agnipath recruitment scheme.
The Agnipath Scheme was launched by the Union Defence Ministry on Tuesday with the intent to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces. As per the latest reports by the Railways Ministry, 94 Mail Express and 140 Passenger Trains have been cancelled, whereas 65 Mail Express and 30 Passenger Trains have been partially cancelled to run in the country.
The Railways have also decided to divert the route of 11 Mail Express trains for tomorrow.
As per an official statement by the Northern Railways, 12 trains which were scheduled to commence 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 Terminal Garib Rath Express (12435), Dibrugarh-Lalgarh Avadh Assam Express (15909), Alipurdwar-Delhi Jn. Mahananda Express (15483), Kamakhya-Anand Vihar Terminal North East Express (12505), Bhagalpur-Anand Vihar Terminal Vikramshila Express (12367), Varanasi-Patna Special Express (03289), and Varanasi-Barkakana Special Express (03360)– have been cancelled due to the protests.
Apart from this, another train Bhagat Ki Kothi Kamakhya Express, bearing the number 15623, which was earlier scheduled to start its journey on June 21 has also been cancelled.
During the protest, which remained active for a third day today, several trains in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana were vandalised and torched by the agitators demanding immediate withdrawal of the recruitment scheme.
Several protestors in Hyderabad set ablaze 4-5 train engines and 2-3 coaches. Divisional Railway Manager at Secunderabad railway station, AK Gupta, however, ensured that they will analyse the extent of the damage.
“Info of one person being injured. Train services temporarily halted for the safety of passengers,” Gupta said.
Similarly, a mob in the morning vandalised a train at the Ballia railway station in Uttar Pradesh during the protest against Agnipath.
Bihar, remained the most affected state due to protest as the agitation continued for the second day today and the youth disrupted the movement of trains in various districts.
Earlier in the day, the East Central Railway informed that as many as nine trains were cancelled and nine others were short terminated, while the agitating protestors torched the train coaches at Islampur railway station in Bihar’s Nalanda.
The East Central Railway also issued helpline numbers for several Railway Stations amid the protest.
Meanwhile, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw appealed to the youth to not indulge in any violent protests.
“I appeal to the youth to not indulge in violent protests and not damage the property of the Railways,” he said.