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HomeNation‘Agnipath’ Protests: Over 600 Trains Cancelled; UP Coaching Centres Under Scanner |...

‘Agnipath’ Protests: Over 600 Trains Cancelled; UP Coaching Centres Under Scanner | 10 Points


Passengers finally board a train at Patna railway station following its resumption after being cancelled for three days due to protests against the Agnipath military recruitment scheme, in Patna on Monday. (Image: PTI Photo)

Many were left in the lurch due as they were unable to avail flights, whose prices shot up due to the cancellation of train services

The ‘Agnipath’ agitation in several parts of the country caused disruptions in operations with the Indian Railways cancelling over 600 trains on Monday. Many were left in the lurch due to this “nightmare” as they were unable to avail flights, whose prices shot up due to the cancellation of train services.

Out of 612 trains affected, 602 trains were cancelled, including 223 mail and express trains and 379 passenger trains, the Railways said in a statement. The rest were partially cancelled with the worst-affected zone being the East Central Railway. A total of 350 trains that pass through it were cancelled.

The agitation has spread to several states since June 15, when the new scheme was announced, with angry mobs targeting trains and railway properties.

Here is all you need to know about the protests against the Agnipath scheme, which will be replacing the age-old military recruitment procedure of India:

  1. Railways cancels over 600 trains
    A total of 602 trains were cancelled, with 350 of them passing through the East Central Railway zone headquartered at Hajipur. The zone comprises Sonpur, Samastipur, Danapur, Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, and Dhanbad divisions and was the worst-hit. Another zone that was severely affected and compounded by floods was the Northeast Frontier Railway, which cancelled at least 26 trains. Besides the trains cancelled on Monday, another five have also been cancelled for Tuesday, NFR chief PRO Sabyasachi De said.
  2. Air fares go up, passengers say ‘nightmare’
    Hundreds of passengers were left in the lurch with many unable to avail flights due to increased fares. The railways has cancelled over 450 trains on an average per day over the past three days. Online travel services firms showed air fares in the routes where trains have been cancelled in the “high” category.
  3. Students affected by cancelled train services
    Many of those travelling amid the agitation are students set to appear for several competitive exams scheduled during the week, and this concern was also raised on Twitter. JEE Mains is scheduled to be held between June 23 and 29. The law entrance exam was on Sunday, with many facing issues in reaching test centres due to jammed roads and affected trains.
  4. Role of coaching centres being probed
    The role of coaching centres is being probed in connection with the violence in the aftermath of the Centre unveiling the new scheme. In Uttar Pradesh, owners and operators of army recruitment coaching centres are under the scanner after 11 such operators in Aligarh were arrested for allegedly provoking students to stage the agitation. In Bihar, too, the Patna administration said six coaching centres were involved in the violence that unfolded in Danapur and Masaurhi railway stations. Police have registered 12 FIRs and arrested 190 people, said Patna district magistrate Dr Chandrashekhar Singh.
  5. Traffic snarls in Delhi due to Bharat bandh
    Authorities said the bandh call was given on social media. Massive traffic jams were witnessed on Delhi roads due to restrictions imposed for the bandh as well as the Congress satyagraha against senior leader Rahul Gandhi’s questioning by the ED. Commuters from Noida and Gurugram were left hassled while driving into the capital. While the strike call choked traffic on several arterial roads, no impact was seen in the city’s markets where it was business as usual. Top Congress leaders protested at Jantar Mantar with Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, senior leaders Sachin Pilot, Salman Khurshid, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal in attendance.
  6. Train blocked near Connaught Place
    Youth Congress workers stopped a train at Shivaji Bridge railway station near Connaught Place to push for their demand of withdrawal of the new military recruitment scheme. But, police and security personnel cleared the tracks and services on that line were resumed after about half an hour. Police detained several agitators as they were forcibly removed from the tracks. Youth Congress president Srinivas BV said, “The government needs to roll back the Agniveer scheme. The Youth Congress will fight for the unemployed youth who want to serve the country.”
  7. Scattered support for Bharat bandh in other states
    Other states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Assam and Rajasthan also tightened security and imposed prohibitory orders in some districts. Railway stations, including those in Ambala, Rewari and Sonipat in Haryana and Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar in Punjab, had a massive security cover. Protests were reported in some parts of Haryana, Punjab and Jammu. “Bharat bandh call was given on social media though no group had owned it. The police were on alert since Monday morning with elaborate arrangements being made with vast deployment of the force,” Uttar Pradesh ADGP (law and order) Prashant Kumar said, adding that there was no untoward incident reported. More than 5,000 security personnel were deployed in Jharkhand and schools remained shut across the state. There was no report of any untoward incident in the state, police told PTI. In Bihar, which has seen large-scale violence, internet services are still suspended in 17 out of 38 districts.
  8. Army issues notification for online registration
    In a significant development, the army issued a notification for compulsory online registration of all job aspirants from July with the Centre taking a firm stand on implementing the scheme despite widespread agitation and political opposition. In the notification, the army said online registration can be done on www.joinindianarmy.nic.in. The army said ‘agniveers’ will form a distinct rank in the Indian Army, which would be different from any other existing ranks. It also said they will be barred from disclosing classified information under the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
  9. Plea filed in SC to quash ‘illegal, unconstitutional’ selection process
    A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court against the scheme alleging that the government has contravened constitutional provisions and acted without having parliamentary approval. The plea, filed by advocate ML Sharma, referred to the protests as it sought quashing of the relevant notification.
  10. Unpleasant now, but with time benefits will show: PM Modi
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said decisions and reforms might be unpleasant temporarily but with time the country will experience their benefits. After inaugurating or laying the foundation for various development works in Karnataka, he said, “The path of reforms can alone take us towards new targets and new resolve; we have opened up the space and defence sector that were, for decades, under government control.”

(With PTI inputs)

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