Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Following the violence against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme in various parts of the country, Eastern Railways General Manager (GM) Arun Arora termed it “unfortunate” and said the youth are being misled.
Speaking to ANI, Arora said, “Violent agitation on Agnipath Scheme is unfortunate. The youths are being misled. They need to understand that the railway property is a national property, and we all own this. What will you get in return for burning your own home?” he asked.
He appealed to the youths not to be violent and said that there are many ways to present their points to the government, but violence is not the right way.
“I urge youth that there is a process if they want to keep their points in front of the government. But the violence is not the right way,” Arora said.
On being asked about what is the management of the stranded passengers on eastern railways, Arora said, “the directions were given to take care of stranded passengers, currently, there are no stranded passengers on Eastern Railways. If anyone is there, the instruction has been given to take care of them.”
He further said the trains would be cancelled for a few days as rakes were burnt and traffic was disrupted. It will take a few days to be normalised. “We are working on it, the service will be normalised very soon,” he added.
Earlier in the day, East Central Railway said due to ongoing students’ agitation against the Agnipath scheme across the nation, eight trains were cancelled, and six trains have been rescheduled in the east zone.
The protest against the Centre’s scheme took place in 11 states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam, on Friday, June 17.
In a few states, the protests turned violent, which included setting trains on fire and stone-pelting incidents, and arrests were made. In Uttar Pradesh, at least 250 people have been arrested, and six FIRs lodged until Friday.
Owing to the violence, the train services of the East Coast Railway zone were also affected.
In a bid to provide supportive measures to the Agniveers after their 4-year service ends in the Armed Forces, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday approved a proposal to reserve 10 per cent of the job vacancies in the Ministry of Defence for Agniveers meeting requisite eligibility criteria.
The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces called Agnipath, and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.
Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. The Agnipath Scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces.
According to the latest announcement by the Ministry, the upper age limit for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) – inclusive of Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), National Security Guard (NSG) and Special Protection Group (SPG) – will stand at 26 years.
Meanwhile, the first batch of Agniveers will avail a further relaxation of 5 years beyond the upper age limit of 23, taking it to 28 years. (ANI)