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Agnipath protests: Railways cancels 587 trains

Agnipath protests: Railways cancels 587 trains
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New Delhi: Over 550 trains were cancelled on Monday with operations again disrupted by protests against the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.

Of the 597 trains affected, 587 trains were cancelled, including 208 mail and express trains and 379 passengers trains, the Railways said in a statement.

Four mail and express trains were partially cancelled.

The worst-affected zone was the East Central Railway, which is headquartered at Hajipur and comprises Sonpur, Samastipur, Danapur, Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, and Dhanbad divisions.

In this zone, around 350 trains remain cancelled, including those that pass through it.

In Delhi, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) workers stopped a train at the Shivaji Bridge railway station near Connaught Place to push for their demand for a rollback of the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.

The track was cleared by the police and security personnel and train movement resumed after about half an hour, sources said.

Several protesters were detained as police personnel tried to remove them from the tracks and the station, a senior police official added.

Youth Congress president Srinivas B V said, "The government needs to roll back the Agniveer scheme. The Youth Congress will fight for the unemployed youth who want to serve the country."

IYC members also staged protests at nearby Connaught Place.

Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) cancelled at least 26 trains due to violent agitations against the 'Agnipath' scheme and floods that wrecked several places in Assam, an NFR official said, adding many trains have also been short-terminated, short-originated, diverted or rescheduled.

Besides the trains cancelled on Monday, another five have also been cancelled for Tuesday, NFR chief public relations officer Sabyasachi De said.

He said north-bound trains from Guwahati were mostly cancelled or changes were made in their schedule due to the violent agitation against 'Agnipath' in Bihar which lead to the burning of coaches and damage to railway properties.

With the government standing its ground on the contentious 'Agnipath' scheme for short-term recruitment in the armed forces, the three services on Sunday came out with a broad schedule of enrolment under the new policy and warned that those who indulged in violence and arson will not be inducted.

A tri-services media briefing at the Defence Ministry took place hours after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force for the second straight day on Sunday.

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