Protests against the newly announced army recruitment scheme, Agnipath, rages across the country for the fourth day as railway traffic was halted and several train coaches set ablaze in several states by protestors.
In Bihar, agitators targeted the houses of State Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi and BJP president and West Champaran MP Dr Sanjay Jaiwwal.
After protestors stone-pelted Renu Devi’s house, he reacted that the “students were misinformed about Agnipath”
In Telangana, police allegedly opened fire at the protestors leaving several people injured and one in critical condition after the mob turned violent and engaged in arson. 20 crores worth of property were damaged, estimates The South Central Railways.
The South Central Railways has cancelled over 40 MMTS trains.
Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi slammed PM Modi over the new army recruitment.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia, trains were set ablaze, railway stations vandalized and incidents of stone pelting reported in some parts of the district.
In Cantt railway station, Ballia, UP, officials said youths set fire on an empty coach on Friday morning. They were dispersed later and the fire doused.
Ballia SP Raj Kiran Nayyar in a statement said, “In the district, there was information that some students had gathered at the railway station and stadium. Senior police officers and magistrates started a conversation with them. The students were dispersed from there. While being dispersed from the railway station, they tried to break the windows of an empty train standing in the washing area. They also tried to set afire the bogey of a train stationed in an isolated area. The fire is being doused. All have been dispersed from the spot, and patrolling is underway and further action is being taken.”
On Thursday, protests against Agnipath were also felt in Agra, Bulandshahr and some other districts of UP. While agitators in Agra blocked a highway, in Bulandshahr, they blocked the Heavy-traffic GT Road and raised slogans.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP government over the new Agnipath scheme . “The uncalled for Agnipath scheme reduces operational effectiveness of armed forces” he said in a tweet.
He also lashed out at PM Modi, accusing him of not understanding the countries needs while listing out initiatives by the centre that were “rejected” by people.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi urged the PM to withdraw the scheme immediately. She also accused the centre of being hasty as it had changed the rules for Agnipath recruitment plan in less than 24 hours.