As the protests against the Centre’s Agnipath Recruitment Scheme turned violent at the Secunderabad railway station on Friday, one person has died and over 15 have been injured.
Police opened fire after the protesters went on a rampage at the station setting afire two trains and vandalising the station. The injured were admitted to Gandhi Hospital.
An official of the South Central Railway (SCR) said there was an incident of firing to control the rampaging mob at the Secunderabad railway station.
SCR sources said protesters pulled out cargo from a coach, dumped it on the tracks and set them on fire.
“1 dead among 13 people who were brought to the hospital. Among the injured, 1 person in critical condition, he received a chest injury. We are examining the remaining,” ANI quoted Raja Rao, Superintendent, Gandhi Hospital as saying.
AK Gupta, Divisional Railway Manager at Secunderabad railway station said that 4-5 train engines and 2-3 coaches were set on fire by the Agnipath demonstrators following which the train services have temporarily been put on hold.
“We’ll analyse the extent of the damage. Info of one person being injured. Train services temporarily halted for safety of passengers,” AK Gupta said.
The situation continued to be tense as a large number of protesters remained in the station and on the tracks. The protesters were pelting stones at police while the latter were retaliating with the firing of rubber bullets and teargas shells.
The Railway Protection Force, Government Railway Police and city police were trying to bring the situation under control.
Additional forces were rushed to the area which resembled a battle zone. Authorities have cancelled all the trains. With the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses also being targeted outside the station, the corporation suspended bus services in the area.
Violence rocked the railway station here as hundreds of youth went on a rampage, setting afire East Coast Express. Passengers ran for their safety. Several bogies were gutted.
Raising slogans against the Central government, the protesters also torched bogies of another train on the station, stalls, display boards and other railway property. They also dumped parcel articles on the tracks and set them afire.
The protesters, who were raising slogans of ‘Jai jawan Jai kisan’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ ,demanded that the government scrap the recently announced scheme and continue the existing system of recruitment.
Following the large-scale violence, an alert was sounded at all railway stations in Telangana. Security was tightened at Nampally, Kacheguda and other railway stations in Hyderabad.
Forces were also rushed to Kazipet and Jangaon railway stations as a precautionary measure.
Reportedly, over 200 trains have been affected – 35 trains have been cancelled while 13 short-terminated- since the protests erupted on Wednesday, according to the Railways.