Road, rail commuters bear brunt of protests, 612 trains cancelled – Daily Pioneer

The day-long Bharat Bandh protest against the Agnipath military recruitment scheme on Monday led to disruption of road and rail traffic in some States amid stepped up security and curbs in the wake of days of unrest on the issue.
Amid the ongoing disruptions, the railways cancelled 612 trains, including 223 mail/express trains and 379 passenger trains, the railways said in a statement. The bandh call was given on social media and did not name the organisations behind it, officials said.
The national Capital witnessed massive traffic jams as restrictions were in place due to the bandh and the satyagraha protest by the Congress over the Agnipath scheme and the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Adir Ranjan Chowdhury, senior leaders Sachin Pilot, Salman Khurshid, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal took part in the protest at the Jantar Mantar.
Indian Youth Congress workers stopped a train at the Shivaji Bridge railway station in Delhi. Sixteen protesters were detained and the track was cleared by security personnel after about half an hour, sources said.
Commuters from Noida and Gurugram to Delhi were stuck in traffic snarls as the Central Delhi remained the hub of the protests.
Other States like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Assam and Rajasthan had also put in place heightened security measures and imposed prohibitory orders in some districts to thwart possible protests and violence during the strike.
Heavy deployments of police personnel were made at railway stations, including those in Ambala, Rewari and Sonipat in Haryana and Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar in Punjab to prevent any untoward incident, officials said.
Protests were reported in some parts of Haryana, Punjab and Jammu.
“Bharat Bandh call was given on social media though no group had owned it. The police were on alert since Monday morning with elaborate arrangements being made with vast deployment of the force,” Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said.
As many as 151 companies of State and Central paramilitary besides the civil police were deployed, he said adding that no untoward incident has been reported from anywhere.
“There has been no impact of the Bharat Bandh call anywhere in the State,” he said.
Over 5,000 security personnel were deployed in Jharkhand and schools remained shut across the State in view of the bandh.
There was no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the State so far during the day, according to Jharkhand Police spokesperson and IG (Operations) Amol V Homkar.
Shops and business establishments remained open in the capital Ranchi, the steel city of Jamshedpur, Palamu and elsewhere. There was tight security at Ranchi railway station and security forces staged a flag march in Koderma.
In Bihar, which had seen large-scale violence, internet services remained suspended in 17 out of 38 districts and heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces continued in places to check any untoward incident.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleged that the BJP was trying to create its own “armed” cadre base through the new defence recruitment programme.
“The BJP is trying to create its armed cadre base through this scheme. What will they do after four years? The party wants to give arms into the hands of the youth,” the Trinamool Congress chief said in the Assembly.
 The Government projected this scheme as a major overhaul of the decades-old selection process to maintain a young age profile of the services. But the protesters are demanding its rollback claiming that it will rob recruits of job security and other benefits.
While the Government has announced several incentives and concessions for the Agniveers, the three services on Sunday warned that those who indulged in violence and arson will not be inducted.

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