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Protest against Agneepath scheme continues in day 3, train coaches set on fire, stations vandalised in Bihar, UP

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Protest against Agnipath scheme continues in day 3, train coaches set on fire, stations vandalised in Bihar, UP. The defence ministry, late on Thursday night, announced a “one-time” waiver for the upper-age limit for the recruits – who will be called “Agniveers” – from 21 to 23.

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According to the report, A total of 200 train services have been affected due to the ongoing agitation against the government’s short-term recruitment scheme for the armed forces.Huge crowds gathered in the Bihar’s Chhapra, Jehanabad, Munger and Nawada areas of Bihar, demanding the withdrawal of the Agneepath scheme. A group of army aspirants protested at Bhabua Road Railway Station and blocked the tracks before setting a train on fire. Raising slogans ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Agnipath Vapas Lo’, youths protesting against the Centre’s new scheme to recruit soldiers on Friday set an empty train on fire and vandalised a few other trains here, prompting the police to lathicharge them.

According to reports, the coaches of the Jammu Tawi Express train were set on fire at Mohiuddinagar station of Hajipur-Barauni railway line. Another train was set ablaze at Luckeesarai Junction in the state. “They were stopping me from shooting a video and even snatched away my phone. Four to five compartments have been affected,” a police officer told media. Following violent protests in Palwal against the Agnipath scheme, the Haryana government has suspended mobile internet and SMS services for 24 hours in the Ballabhgarh area of Faridabad district as a precautionary measure.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today attacked the government over the Agnipath scheme, and demanded its immediate withdrawal. In a tweet in Hindi, Priyanka Gandhi said “not even 24 hours had passed” that the BJP government had to change the rules of the new army recruitment scheme. This means the scheme is being imposed on the youth in haste, the Congress general secretary said. “Narendra Modi ji, withdraw this scheme immediately. Give appointments and put out the result of the stalled recruitment in Air Force,” Priyanka Gandhi said. “Conduct army recruitment (with age relaxation) as before,” she demanded.

Meanwhile, SP RK Nayyar told media in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia, a crowd gathered at the Railway Station tried to pelt stone but the police dispersed them. Soon after, some students attempted to break window pane and set fire to an empty isolated train.

Yesterday, trains were set ablaze and blocked, and public vehicles attacked as protests over ‘Agnipath’ swept across several places in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana on Thursday amid partisan political voices in favour and against the new recruitment scheme for the defence forces that has set off a firestorm.

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