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Agnipath Protest: Rioters Loot Rs 3 Lakh From Bihiya Railway Station's Ticket Counter

In a shocking incident reported during the violent Agnipath protest, Rs 3 lakh cash was looted from a ticket counter at Bihiya railway station in Bihar.

Image: RepublicWorld/PTI

In a shocking incident reported during the violent protests against the Agnipath recruitment scheme for the Armed Forces, Rs 3 lakh cash was looted from a ticket counter of Bihiya railway station in Bihar's Arrah district on Friday. In an exclusive conversation with Republic TV, the ticket counter in charge, who was also an eyewitness, narrated the whole incident, stating a huge crowd gathered outside the room and started attacking the premises. He said that the protesters looted around Rs 3 lakh cash from the counter and set the entire office on fire. 

"We were giving tickets to passengers, all of a sudden a huge crowd started pelting stones and breaking windows of ticket counter.  After a while, they tried to arson the office, we tried to douse the fire but it started spreading and the room was filled with smoke. We were trapped inside and then managed to escape somehow. There were around 200 people. They looted Rs 3 lakh cash which was the collection of the last two days and then set the entire office ablaze," Awadh Bihari, ticket collector told Republic TV.

He added, "They should have protested peacefully. We all were trapped inside the office and still they tried to set the office on fire, they wanted to kill us".

Agitations, fuelled by misinformation, spilt over to several districts in Bihar as youths protested by lying down on railway tracks and blocking roads, demanding the scrapping of the Agnipath scheme. Huge crowds gathered in Bihar's Chhapra, Jehanabad, Munger, and Nawada, demanding the withdrawal of the army recruiting programme. A group of army aspirants protested at Bhabua Road Railway Station and blocked the tracks before setting a train on fire.

Over 300 Train Services Disrupted Across Nation As Protesters Create Ruckus

Over 300 train services were affected and disrupted across the country as protests against the 'Agnipath' scheme turned violent on Friday. As per the Indian Railways sources, a total of 316 trains were affected, out of which 80 Mail express and 134 passenger trains were cancelled. 61 Mail Express and 30 passenger trains were partially cancelled and 11 mail express trains were diverted due to the protests. This comes amid the widespread misinformed and aggressive protests across states, with youth demanding a complete rollback of the Armed Forces recruitment program.

Protesters also gathered at several railway stations where they burnt the coaches of the trains, damaged cycles, benches, bikes, stalls, and later threw them on the railway tracks blocking and disrupting the services. Earlier in the day, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw issued an appeal to protestors to not harm national property. Amid incidents of train arsons and ruckus erupting on railway stations, the Union Minister also suspected an alleged involvement of anti-social elements in the protests. 

Despite the government allaying all fears concerning the Agnipath scheme, aggressive protests, caused by widespread misinformation, were witnessed across states on Friday. Incidents of violence, vandalism, torching of railway trains, stone-pelting, and attacks on police personnel were seen in several parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Telangana.

Many Army aspirants are unhappy with the changes introduced under the new recruitment scheme, particularly the length of service, no pension provisions, and the age restriction that makes many of them ineligible. The protests continued for the third straight day, despite the Centre extending the upper age limit for recruitment of Agniveers from 21 years to 23 years. 


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