Job-seekers agitation paralyses Central Railway

Mumbai, March 20 (IANS) A flash agitation by job-seekers over issues pertaining to railway recruitment has culminated in a rail-blockade, police caning and retaliatory stone-throwing leading to a virtual paralysis of the Central Railway suburban train services here on Tuesday.

For nearly three hours, the services were severely disrupted as the protestors squatted and laid on the railway tracks between Matunga and Dadar.

More than 4.5 million commuters were badly hit for the second consecutive day follwoing a strike called on Monday by drivers of cab aggregators and app-based taxis that disrupted in Mumbaikars’ schedules.

Attempting to restore normalcy, the local police resorted to a mild lathi-charge to disrupt the protestors. Some retaliated by pelting stones at the police.

At least five persons and a couple of police personnel were injured in the fracas even as top police and railway officials rushed to the site to control the situation.

The protests were carried out by activists of the All India Act Apprentice Association (AAAAA). It demanded scrapping of the 20 per cent quota and jobs for locals in all states to those candidates who clear the All India Railway Act Apprentice Exams.

They claimed they had taken up their demands right upto the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal who met them but there was no progress in the matter.

Meanwhile, the BEST has deployed extra buses to ferry commuters to and fro from various points.

The agitation on the Central Railway had a cascading effect even on the Western Railway with all trains running packed to capacity.

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