Train torched in Bihar during protests over railways recruitment exams
Protesters attacked a train and disrupted some railway lines over first session of online exams. More than 12.5 million people have applied for 35,000 jobs. The government put the next exam on hold to vet the issue.
Patna (AsiaNews) – As India marked Republic Day with celebrations, protest broke out over the recruitment process by Indian Railways.
The government-owned company employs more than 1.25 million people, making it one of the largest Indian public corporations.
The Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) plans to hire about 35,000 non-technical workers, but 12.5 million people have applied.
The results from the first exam were released last Saturday; the second exam for those who passed is set to start on 15 February.
This has sparked anger among young applicants who say that the process is biased and that they will be shut out of the selection. Protests were especially intense in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where several railway lines were occupied.
The worst incident is reported in Gaya (Bihar) where protesters set fire to the train that connects Bhabhua to Patna.
Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw slammed the protest, urging protesters not to destroy their “own property”. Meanwhile, the government has set up a committee to examine the issue.
For its part, the RBB said it had acquired the footage of the riots, warning that anyone who took part in unlawful activities would be barred for life from working for the company.