The ruling BJP continued to be on the target of protestors as they attacked the house of deputy CM Renu Devi at Bettiah. However, any major damage was prevented as police reached the spot quickly. The protestors also vandalised BJP office at Lakhisarai.
Residence of Bihar deputy CM Renu Devi, in Bettiah, was attacked by agitators during the protest against #Agnipath… https://t.co/DoGAtp77mg
— GLOBAL PRABHAT Patna (@TOIPatna) 1655444434000
“Our residence in Bettiah was attacked. We suffered a lot of damage. My mother is in Patna,” says Renu Devi’s son.
Trains seemed to be the primary targets of the agitators, including anti-social elements, as bogies of at least three trains at Lakhisarai and Samastipur districts were set ablaze. Besides, window panes of several trains were damaged in stone-pelting at Ara, Buxar and Khagaria districts.
As per a bulletin issued by East Central Railways (ECR), at least 25 trains were halted for several hours on Friday morning at railway stations, including Mohaddinaagar, Mansi, Dumraon, Kulhadia and Jakhim. Operations of trains were affected on Bachwara-Hajipur, Barauni-Katihar and Din Dayal Upadhyay-Manpur sections. At least 30 trains, mostly passenger trains, were cancelled due to the protests. More than 50 trains had to be diverted due to protests in different districts.
Lakhisarai railway station witnessed massive vandalism by the protestors, as several bogies of Janseva Express was set on fire and the hooligans damaged railway properties and looted stalls as well.
Similarly, two bogies of Sasaram passenger train were set on fire by the protestors at Kulharia in Bhojpur district.
The protestors also set on fire Darbhanga-New Delhi Sampark Kranti Express at Samastipur. At least three bodies of Jammutwai-Guwahati Express were set on fire at Mohaddinagar railway station in Samastipur.
Vandalism and ruckus was witnessed at Danapur and Bihta railway stations at Patna as well, where railway police chased away the protestors after resorting to lathicharge.
Vehicular movement was also affected on highways as hundreds of students came on NH- 139 at Arwal, NH-727 and Rajbara Gumti road in Begusarai. GT road was blocked in Aurangabad and several school buses were set on fire at Daudnagar in the district. The fire brigade vehicle that went to control the fire at Daudnagar was also destroyed by the furious mob.
According to sources, around 10 cops, including a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) and a police inspector were injured during stone-pelting by angry youths at Mehnar in Vaishali district. The police have also arrested hundreds of protestors in different districts.
Most agitators are demanding restoration of old system of recruitment in the armed forces. Many youths preparing for the armed forces recruitment exams as per the old process, are unhappy with the changes introduced under the Agnipath scheme approved by the Union cabinet on Tuesday. For instance, a section of protesting aspirants is unhappy with short-term service (4 years), age limitation of 17.5- 21 years and no pension provisions for those decommissioned early. However, the Centre announced on Thursday evening that upper age limit for the recruitment process for Agnipath scheme for the year 2022 has been increased to 23 years as a one-time waiver.
Watch Agnipath row: Protesters vandalise Bihar deputy CM’s house