Train services resumes after students end protest

Pauline Gross
March 21, 2018

Central Railway (CR) services came to a halt during the peak hours on Tuesday morning due to rail-roko observed by 400-500 apprentice students who were demanding permanent jobs.

The protests were carried out by the activists of the All India Act Apprentice Association (AAAAA).

"This is the single largest recruitment ever undertaken by any organisation in India and also the largest opportunity for all sections of youth, including the apprentices to join the Indian Railway in a very transparent and fair manner".

He appealed to the protesters to apply for jobs during the railway recruitment drive, which will go on till March 31. The minister said the agitation by students in Mumbai was called off at 10.35 am. After the recent farmers' protest, now railway job seekers have struck a protest.

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Almost 500 students from several states, who have done apprenticeship with the Indian Railways and want permanent jobs, came out and sat on railway tracks at about 6.45 AM. To control the students, the police started Lathi charge over the students, and In responding to that, the students threw rocks the local trains. "This government's policy of limiting the apprentice quota to 20 percent along with an examination is causing distress among students since thousands of apprentices will be left without any job with this policy", she said. The protest was called off at around 10.35am, railway minister Piyush Goyal told reporters at a hurriedly-called press conference in New Delhi. Several other commuters also complained that the taxis outside Sion and Matunga stations are refusing to ferry them and many cabs moved out from the area after learning about the agitation and huge passenger rush.

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has deployed more buses on this route especially between Dadar and Matunga station to help the affected commuters.

"There has been no recruitment since last four years". Railway officials say a fifth of the railway jobs has been reserved for apprentices, but the protesting students want the quota limit to be removed. We are struggling from pillars to post.

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