Agnipath protest at Secunderabad station: Protestors caused mechincal damage worth Rs. 3.29 cr

The East Coast Express had just arrived at the station at 8.49 a.m on Friday when more than 500 youth rushed onto platform number 2. According to the railway report, as many as 22 coaches have been severely damaged. Railway Sources stated that they are still yet to estimate other commercial losses. "However, including all the losses- ticket, train cancellation, damage to station premises etc, we are estimating a loss of 12 crores," an official said on condition of anonymity.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  18 Jun 2022 8:51 AM GMT
Agnipath protest at Secunderabad station: Protestors caused mechincal damage worth Rs. 3.29 cr

Hyderabad: The violent protests at the Secunderabad railway station on 17 June against the Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme caused damages worth Rs. 3.29 crores.

The East Coast Express had just arrived at the station at 8.49 a.m on Friday when more than 500 youth rushed onto platform number 2. According to the railway report, as many as 22 coaches have been severely damaged.

The train's D3 coach incurred the highest monetary damage. All the seats in the coach were burnt causing the railways a loss of Rs. 1.50 crores. Several smoke glasses, windows, mirrors, and toilet glasses were broken. The luggage compartment of the train suffered 70% damage.

A little earlier, an incoming train (17063 MMR-SC Ajanta) arrived at Secunderabad station's platform no. 8 at 8.38 a.m. An entire general coach, valued at Rs. 30 lakhs, was burned down.

A total of 30 AC coaches and 47 non-AC coaches were damaged during the protest at the station. Also, 109 smoke screen glasses worth Rs. 4 lakhs were shattered, 400 window glasses worth approximately Rs. 5 lakhs were damaged, and 150 berths worth Rs. 7.50 lakhs were either burnt or damaged, according to the railways.

An additional luggage compartment on coach number 17725 SLR was fully burnt causing damages worth Rs. 15 lakhs.

Meanwhile, 4,300 bedsheets, 2,000 pillow covers, 2,000 face towels, and 60 bath towels – all worth approximately Rs. 11 lakhs – were damaged. The exterior paint of several coaches in different trains was also damaged due to a fire.

The entire damages are valued at Rs. 3,29,97,725 by the Mechanical Department of the South Central Railways. According to the railway report, as many as 22 coaches have been severely damaged. Railway Sources stated that they are still yet to estimate other commercial losses. "However, including all the losses- ticket, train cancellation, damage to station premises etc, we are estimating a loss of 12 crores," an official said on condition of anonymity.

What happened on June 17?

More than 500 students from various districts of Telangana reached Hyderabad on Thursday evening. They planned to organize a protest after the Central government announced the Agnipath Recruitment Scheme on 14 June.

The protestors are reportedly Army Common Entrance Examination (CEE) aspirants which have not been conducted over the last two years due to Covid-19. They started planning the protest through various groups on WhatsApp and Telegram. The aspirants are part of these groups that essentially act as study groups.

"As CEE was canceled, I was scared that I'll cross the age limit. But after waiting for two years, the government comes up with a scheme that puts us out of work after four years. That's wrong," one of the protestors explained.

The protestors reportedly reached the city via various public transports and stayed the night at their friends' or relatives' homes. "This is a planned protest. This particular station was chosen because it is the headquarters of the South Central Railways (SCR). We are protesting against the Central government's new Agnipath Recruitment Scheme," the protestors said.

At 6 a.m on Friday morning, protestors began gathering near the railway station. They entered the railway station through the front gate. According to them, they asked all the passengers on the trains to evacuate immediately.

The protest began between 7:30 a.m and 8 a.m. Before the state and railway police could arrive, the damage was done.

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