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Agnipath stir continues on Day 3: Unrest across India; Protestors block railway tracks in Bengal, services hit

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New Delhi, Jun 17: Protests continued across the country on the third day against the new military scheme - 'Agnipath' even as 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.

    Agnipath Scheme: Protests spread to multiple cities, public property damaged | Oneindia news *News

    The violent protests which erupted in parts of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on Thursday continued on Friday.

    Agnipath stir continues on day 3: Railway station vandalised, two trains set on fire in Bihar, UP

    Protestors block railway tracks in Bengal, services hit

    Train services on the Sealdah-Bangaon route in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district were disrupted for a brief period on Friday morning as a group of students held a demonstration on railway tracks protesting against the Centre's newly introduced 'Agnipath' scheme for recruitment in defence services, officials said. Around 50-60 students blocked the tracks at Thakurnagar station from 7.50 am to 9.15 am, an Eastern Railway official said, adding that trains services now are normal. The protestors held a demonstration against the Centre's 'Agnipath' scheme at the station for more than an hour, said a senior officer of Giaghata Police Station. They also made an attempt to march towards the residence of BJP MP and Union Minister of State for Shipping Shantanu Thakur, he said.

    Odisha

    Agnipath protests reach Odisha as hundreds of army aspirants blocked the arterial Ring Road in Cuttack and tore down hoardings in Cantonment area of the silver city, PTI reported. Many of these protestors alleged that they have already cleared the physical fitness and medical tests for recruitment in the Army last year, and were awaiting to write the Common Entrance Examination (CEE).

    Bihar

    In Bihar, train coaches were set on fire on Friday by agitators.

    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.

    Residence of Deputy CM Renu Devi, in Bettiah, attacked

    UP: Trains set on fire

    Police sources said that the protesters gathered at the Veeri Lork Stadium here and then marched to the Ballia railway station, Uttar Pradesh.

    A video of the youths raising the slogans and vandalising the Ballia-Varanasi Memu and Ballia-Shahganj trains has gone viral.

    They also allegedly pelted stones near the railway godown and targeted private shops at the railway station platform.

    Buses outside were targeted too, sources said.

    District Magistrate Saumya Agarwal said, "Considering the possibility of youths protesting, police was deployed from the morning itself. Some unruly youths came and tried to pelt stones, but the administration did not allow them to succeed. One portion of Ballia railway station was vandalised. Action is being taken against the unruly elements."

    Superintendent of Police Raj Karan Nayyar said that the youths are being persuaded to call off the protest and sent back. "The incident has been videographed. So far, no arrests have been made," he said.

    Protests have erupted in several states since Wednesday against the Agnipath scheme to recruit jawans into the army, the navy and the air force for a four-year-period followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.

    Youth vandalise Secunderabad Railway Station

    The protest against the Centre's 'Agnipath' scheme relating to recruitment in the armed forces spread to the South on Friday when unidentified miscreants went on the rampage at the Secunderabad Railway station here, setting on fire a parcel coach of a passenger train.

    Trains cancelled

    8 train services affected due to ongoing students' agitation at various stations over East Central Railway jurisdiction; 12335 Malda Town - Lokmanya Tilak (T) Express & 12273 Howrah - New Delhi Duronto Express cancelled: Ekalabya Chakraborty, CPRO

    East Central Railway: Helpline numbers

    East Central Railway issued helpline numbers for the following Railway Stations, amidst the protests over the recently launched.

    Madhya Pradesh: Protests turn violent in Indore as hundreds gather on tracks hurl stones

    Protests over the Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme turned violent in Madhya Pradesh's Indore on Friday morning after hundreds of protesters gathered on tracks near a railway station in the city and hurled stones, forcing the authorities to either stop or cancel some trains and also prompting the police to lob teargas shells to control the situation, officials said.

    Two policemen suffered minor injuries in the incident, they said, adding that around 15 protesters were arrested.

    "Nearly 600 youths gathered in different groups on the tracks near Laxmibai Nagar railway station in the city, forcing the railway administration to stop a few trains," Indore police commissioner Harinarayan Chari Mishra told PTI.

    When the protesters indulged in stone-pelting, police fired teargas shells and also cane-charged to disperse them and bring the situation under control, he said.

    "Two policemen sustained minor injuries during the incident but no information of train passengers getting injured in the stone-pelting has been received so far," he said.
    Around 15 protesters were arrested and legal action against them was initiated, Mishra said.

    Meanwhile, public relations officer of the Western Railway, Khemraj Meena, said the protestors stopped Daund-Indore (22943) and Varanasi-Indore Mahakal Express (20413) for 45 minutes.

    The WR cancelled two DEMU (diesel electric multiple unit) trains after getting information about the protest, he said.

    Meena also said that police and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel are also deployed at different stations in the city in view of the protest.

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