15 ITBP job aspirants killed after falling from trains

Shahjahanur/Bareilly, Feb 1 (PTI) 15 youths were killedand several others injured today when they fell from the roofof two speeding trains crammed with job aspirants returningfrom an ITBP recruitment camp in Bareilly in UP. The incidentstriggered violent protests as angry youths torched a train.

Fourteen youths, travelling atop the Himgiri Express,were killed when they were hit by an overbridge nearShahjahanpur while another ITBP job-seeker died when he fellfrom the Traveni Express in Hardoi district, DistrictMagistrate of Shahjahanpur Ajay Chauhan said.

Agitated over the death of the youths, the jobaspirants ran amok at Shahjahanpur station torching two bogiesof the Jammu-Tawi Express and manhandling the driver of theHimgiri train.

Chauhan said train driver Mohammad Asif was assaultedby the mob but maintained only one coach was torched.

Uttar Pradesh Special DGP Brij Lal told PTI in Lucknowthat the youths were killed when they fell from the HimgiriExpress near Roja station, barely four-km from Shahjahanpurrailway station.

Over 12 ITBP aspirants were also injured, some ofthem critically, in the accident, he said.

The death toll was expected to rise as some youthsalso fell into Khannaut river, reports said.

"The identity of the seven of those killed inShahjahanpur accident is yet to be ascertained," Chauhan said.

A 25-year-old job-seeker returning home after takingpart in the ITBP recruitment drive died after falling from theTriveni Express near Balamau railway station in Hardoi.

He was identified as Satyabhan Singh, police said.

"Two special trains from Roja and Shahjahanpur havebeen arranged for tranporting the youths to their respectivedestinations," the DM said.

Some trains were cancelled and diverted in view ofthe accidents.

Over 1.5 lakh youths from 11 states, vying for ITBPjobs, had reached Bareilly to submit forms for recruitment inthe force.

Earlier in the day, thousands of ITBP aspirants wenton a rampage in Bareilly torching a number of vehicles afterthey failed to submit their forms due to alleged mismanagementof the authorities. They set ablaze seven buses, fiveof them belonging to the state roadways, some two-wheelers anda petrol pump, officials said.

The agitating youths also pelted stones at AIR andDoordarshan offices.

The incidents set off a blame-game between the Centreand Uttar Pradesh authorities. Home Minister P Chidambaramsaid the ITBP had informed the state police "well in advance"but the state police provided only "minimal forces".

"These were done with the full knowledge and consentof state police. After all we are recruiting boys from thatstate only," Chidambaram said.

However, Brij Lal said a large number of aspirantswere called by the ITBP authorities who they did notcoordinate with the local administration.

"This led to chaos," Lal said, adding adequate PACand police were deployed to restore calm.

In a statement, the ITBP said the force''s DIG atBareilly had duly informed the District Magistrate on January17 about the recruitment drive.

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