Student organisations led by AISA (All India Students’ Association) had called for the 24-hour bandh, demanding the Agnipath scheme be rolled back immediately.
Phone and Internet services remain suspended in the violence-hit districts of Kaimur, Rohtas, Bhojpur, Aurangabad, Buxar, Nawada, West Champaran, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Begusarai, Vaishali, and Saran.
The call for a bandh amid violence sweeping Bihar since the last three days and many railway properties being attacked and destroyed on Friday as well. A mob set part of Danapur railway station in Patna district on fire. They have set a car, parked near a fuel station, on fire.
RJD national President Lalu Prasad also slammed the BJP government at the Centre for launching the ill-conceived scheme.
94 mail and express trains and 140 passenger trains have been cancelled due to the protests, while 65 mail and express and 30 passenger trains were partially cancelled. The Railways also diverted 11 mail and express trains.
According to the last statement by the zonal railways, 164 trains were cancelled in the East Central Railways (ECR), 34 in North Eastern Railways (NER), 13 in Northern Railways (NR) and around three in Northeast Frontier Railways.
Vandalism incidents in railway premises have led to losses of over Rs.200 crore, 50 coaches & 5 engines completely burnt & went out of service. Platforms, computers & various technical parts were damaged. Some trains were canceled: Prabhat Kumar, DRM, Danapur Rail Division
Vaishnaw said, “Railway is our national property and it is our responsibility to make sure that no harm or damage should be made to it. I appeal everyone to not to indulge in any violent protest and not damage the property of the Railways. Railways are the property of the country. It is our property and it is for your service only.”
Meanwhile, The Noida police have arrested 10 protesters and booked more than 200 people for rioting and assault during the anti-Agnipath scheme protests in Jewar on Friday.
Police officials said that several people had gathered in the Jewar area on Friday to protest against the Centre’s new Agnipath scheme for recruitment to the armed forces. Protesters blocked traffic and pelted stones against police officers, leading to a law and order situation, police said. Eight policemen and one bus driver were injured in the protests, police officials added.
While 10 protesters have been arrested, an FIR was filed against 75 named and 150 unnamed persons. The police said they are identifying more persons from videos and photos of the protest.
Apart from the protest, the government today announced 10 per cent reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles. The Ministry of Home Affairs also announced three years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit for Agniveers for recruitment in the two paramilitary forces.
The first batch of Agniveer will get age relaxation of five years beyond the prescribed upper age limit, it said.