Kolkata

Agnipath scheme | Protesters block railway tracks at Thakurnagar in West Bengal

Jammu Tawi Guwahati Express train set on fire by a mob in protest against the Centre’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme, in Hajipur, on June 17.

Jammu Tawi Guwahati Express train set on fire by a mob in protest against the Centre’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme, in Hajipur, on June 17. | Photo Credit: PTI

Protests over the Agnipath scheme erupted in several districts of West Bengal on Friday. There was no report on any violence, but rail and vehicular movement was disrupted at various places in the State.

The protests started at about 7.45 a.m. and continued till 9.30 a.m. The youths carrying the national flag demanded withdrawal of recruitment under Agnipath scheme. Train services under the Sealdah section of Railway was disrupted due to the protests.

After the railway blockade, the youths gathered near the residence of Union Minister of State for Shipping, Ports and Waterways and Bongaon Bharatiya Janata Party MP Santanu Thakur. The police prevented the protesters from going to the residence of BJP MP.

At about 8 a.m. in the morning, another group of youths blocked Howrah, disrupting traffic on the bridge connecting the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata. The protests were lifted after some time. There were protests in Purulia and the south western part of the State and Siliguri in north Bengal, where youths blocked roads demanding that the Agnipath scheme be rolled back.

On Thursday evening, there were protests at Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district on the same issue, when youths took to the streets. The Trinamool Congress has demanded withdrawal of recruitment under Agnipath scheme.

A number of trains starting from Howrah Station were cancelled and short terminated. Among the trains cancelled were Kolkata-Gorakhpur Express and Raxaul-Mithila Express. “Kamakhya-Delhi Brahmaputra Express (Journey Commencing on 16.06.2022) will be short terminated at Malda Town. Moreover, 03023 Howrah-Patna Examination Special will leave Howrah at 20:00 hrs. on 17.06.2022 instead of scheduled departure time at 13:50 hrs,” a press conference from Eastern Railway said, attributing it to “ongoing student agitation at various stations over East Central Railway”. Hundreds of people were stranded at Howrah station. Among those stranded at the station are students who have come to Kolkata to appear in an examination.


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 8:39:01 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/agnipath-scheme-protesters-block-railway-tracks-at-thakurnagar-in-west-bengal/article65536035.ece