The protests against the Union governmentâ€™s Agnipath scheme for recruitment into the military, which were so far limited to parts of north India, reached Hyderabad on Friday, June 17. Protesting army aspirants went on a rampage at the Secunderabad railway station, barging into the station building and blocked trains, and even set a bogie on fire.
In light of the violent protests and blocked tracks, the South Central Railways has cancelled a series of Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) trains on Friday. These include the trains to and from Lingampally to Hyderabad, Falaknuma to Lingampally and the return, Falaknuma to Hyderabad and Ramachandrapuram to Hyderabad.
Further, the South Central Railways has partially cancelled three trains that were supposed to terminate at Secunderabad. These are the Howrah-Secunderabad train (cancelled between Moula Ali and Secunderabad), Sirpur Kagaznagar to Secunderabad (cancelled between Moula Ali and Secunderabad) and Guntur-Vikarabad (cancelled between Cherlapalli and Vikarabad).
During the violence on Friday, agitating aspirants set on fire some coaches of three passenger trains, but none of the passengers was hurt in the incident, senior railways officials told PTI. At least four more trains were vandalised. Police resorted to firing in the air to disperse the protesters. The agitators pulled out cargo from the parcel coach and dumped it on the tracks and set fire to it, leading to disruption of some train services. They also shouted slogans against the Union government demanding normal recruitment of army jobs. There were about 300-350 people who had gathered at the station, and there was also stone pelting.
There were widespread protests in some parts of the country on Thursday demanding the centre to roll back the Agnipath scheme unveiled by the Ministry of Defence which is a pan-India merit-based recruitment scheme for enrolling soldiers, airmen and sailors. Trains were set afire, public and police vehicles attacked and personnel injured as protests over 'Agnipath' snowballed and swept across several states including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on Thursday.