Students’ violent protests against the Railway Recruitment Board’s Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB-NTPC) exam 2021 in Bihar has spread to the entire state with protestors setting a parked passenger train on fire and stoning a running train in Gaya. Visuals from the incident show a train engulfed in flames and the fire brigade rushing to put it out. There’s a heavy deployment of police but has failed to control the aggressive students. The protestors have squatted on railway tracks, vandalised property, clashed with security forces and targetted several trains, hampering train movement in the state. Police cleared the tracks and arrested at least four persons in the state capital Patna on Monday.
In Jehanabad town, angry students burned an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the railway tracks and raised slogans against the government.
In Sitamarhi, police fired in the air to disperse angry demonstrators at the railway station.
Protests were reported from Patna, Nawada, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Buxar and Bhojpur districts.
The protestors are opposing the Railway’s decision to hold the exams in two stages, claiming the second stage for final selection amounted to “cheating” those who appeared and cleared the first stage of the RRB-NTPC for computer-based test (CBT) which was released on January 15. The protesters claim that there was only one examination mentioned in the RRB notification issued in 2019 and the government was playing with their future.
The issue was highlighted when the results were declared on January 15. At that time, the Ministry of Railways issued a clarification in which it said that the second stage exam was clearly mentioned in the notification.
Several trains were canceled or ran on alternative routes on Tuesday on account of the protests.
The Railways has decided to suspend its Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) and Level 1 tests after violent protests by job aspirants, a spokesperson for the national transporter said today.
It has also formed a high-level committee to examine the grievances of those who have passed the exams under different railway recruitment boards (RRBs) and those who have failed the same.
“Railway constitutes High Power Committee to look into Concerns of Candidates over NTPC CBT-1 Result.
Candidates may submit their Grievances to Committee till 16th February, 2022,” the railway ministry tweeted.
Railway constitutes High Power Committee to look into Concerns of Candidates over NTPC CBT-1 Result.
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) January 26, 2022
The stir affected several sections of the East Central Railway (ECR) zone and hindered the running of more than 25 trains causing inconvenience to passengers.
Meanwhile, amid rising protests, the Ministry of Railways on Tuesday issued a statement, warning candidates of being ‘Debarred for Life’ from obtaining a Railway job.
“RRB NTPC Protest videos will now be examined by the Ministry with the help of specialised agencies. Upon proper examination, those found in indulging in any of the mentioned activities, will be penalised accordingly. They will be liable to both police action as well as lifetime debarment from a Railway job”, said the statement.