Railway property was extensively targeted by protesters in Bihar and Telangana, causing widespread panic among commuters. Several coaches of at least 10 trains were torched and railway stations ransacked.
In Telangana, 18 years old Damodar: Rakesh was killed and 13 others injured in early morning firing by the Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police to stop a violent mob of hundreds of youths at the busy Secunderabad railway station for a ‘Rail Roko’ protest. Violent youths set fire to four bogies even before the RPF personnel could be mobilized. Damodar died on the way to Gandhi Hospital due to bullet injury in the waist. Another youth, who sustained bullet injuries in the chest, is battling for his life.
A 40-year-old unidentified man, who fainted after a fire broke out in a bogie of Janseva Express in Lakhisarai, Bihar, died during treatment at a hospital.
Railway officials told TOI that as soon as the protesters entered the station, they started pelting stones at trains parked at all 10 Secunderabad platforms and set ablaze the luggage van of the Howrah-bound East Coast Express. Later, the bogies of Falaknuma Express and Rajkot Express and eight locomotives at the station were torched. The protesters threw entire stalls and bikes on the tracks to obstruct the movement of the train. Thousands of unintentionally apprehended passengers fled the station, some of them leaving behind their luggage.
The protesters allege that the railway police opened fire on them without any warning. “They fired at us randomly,” said Vamsi Krishna Reddy19, a protester from Mahbubnagar who was shot in the leg.
In Bihar, where hundreds of youths took to railway tracks and roads early in the morning, several bogies of at least six trains were torched in Lakhisarai, Fatuha, Islampur, Danapur and Kulhariya. Besides this, the panes of several other trains were damaged in stone pelting in Ara, Buxar and Khagaria districts.
Hundreds of students blocked NH-139 at Arwal, NH-727 in Begusarai and Rajbara Gumti Road and GT Road in Aurangabad, halting vehicular movement. Several school buses were set on fire Daudnagar in Aurangabad. The fire brigade which went to control the fire in Daudnagar was also destroyed by the furious mob.
Protesters also vandalized the houses of Deputy CM renu devi And in Bettiah, there are party offices in Lakhisarai and Sasaram, besides BJP state president Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal.
As protests broke out in most parts of Bihar, the Nitish Kumar government in the evening ordered suspension of internet in 15 districts till June 19 and deployment of 10 additional companies of paramilitary forces. RJD and Left parties have extended their support to the bandh called by various youth and student unions on Saturday against the Agneepath scheme.
260 people were arrested in UP, in Ballia alone more than 100 people set fire to empty train compartment at railway station. The protests spread to the new districts of UP for the third day as the protesting youths torched a portion of the Jattari police post and a vehicle inside the outpost complex in Aligarh. Among other places, UPSRTC buses were targeted in Firozabad. Agra and Varanasi, while the Delhi-Agra highway was blocked in Mathura by heavy bricks. There were also reports of protests from Kushinagar, Deoria, Gonda, Amethi and Sitapur.
In Haryana, protests spread to more districts, forcing the local administration to impose prohibitory orders at several places. With Ballabhgarh emerging as the new epicenter, the police had to resort to the use of force to disperse the agitating youth, who started pelting stones at them and tried to damage government and private vehicles. Jind and after Rohtakwhich have been on the boil since Wednesday, the agitation spread to Charkhi Dadri, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Bhiwani, Mahendergarh, Rewari, Hisar, Sirsa, Fatehabad, and some pockets of Yamunanagar and Kaithal districts.
Protests turned violent in Rajasthan’s Sikar and Bharatpur where youths ransacked railway stations and attacked policemen.
In Madhya Pradesh, protests broke out in Indore, when hundreds of youths covered their faces, blocked trains at Laxmibai Nagar station and pelted bricks at police. Three policemen, including two officers, were injured in the violence. In military settlement Mhow, the administration imposed Section 144 on Thursday night and put up checkpoints to keep the protesters out.
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