Hyderabad: The protest against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment in the armed forces spread to the southern state of Telangana on Friday as police fired in the air to disperse protesters who went on a rampage at the Secunderabad railway station.
A senior official of South Central Railway said agitators set on fire some coaches of three passenger trains; none of the passengers was hurt, though. “There was an incident (of firing), to control them and some firing also happened,” the official told PTI.
Tension prevailed at the Secunderabad railway station and in the vicinity as people ran for cover in the wake of the protest. Shops near the railway station were shut.
It was not immediately clear whether anyone was hurt in the firing incident. TV visuals indicated that some protestors injured at the station were being shifted to hospital.
The agitators pulled out cargo from the parcel coach and dumped it on the tracks and set fire leading to disruption of some train services.
The agitators shouted slogans against the Centre demanding normal recruitment of army jobs, the SCR sources said.
The agitators, numbering about 300-350, threw stones and set a parcel coach of a passenger train on fire, they said.
Some stalls in the railway station suffered damage, they said.
The identity of the agitators was yet to be established, they said.
There were widespread protests in some parts of the country on Thursday demanding the Centre to roll back ‘Agnipath’ scheme unveiled by the Ministry of Defence which is a pan-India recruitment scheme for enrolling soldiers, airmen and sailors. Trains were set afire, public and police vehicles attacked and personnel injured as protests snowballed and swept across several states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Under the scheme, young persons will be provided an opportunity to serve in the armed forces as ‘Agniveer’ for a period of four years, including training period. Up to 25 per cent of them will get regular commission thereafter.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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