PATNA: Hundreds of young men on Friday laid siege to a railway station and destroyed property in Bihar’s Nalanda district demanding jobs in the Indian Railways.Twenty-five protesters were arrested and police were looking for the rest, said officials
Bihar Sharif railway station, located in chief minister Nitish Kumar’s home district, suffered severe losses as protesters, many of whom were allegedly RJD supporters, set part of the station building afire and uprooted tracks at several places. The Shramajeevi Express train was stranded for several hours while a few trains running on the route were diverted.
Police had a tough time controlling the situation. As the protesters, many of whom claimed to be preparing for competitive examinations for jobs, grew violent and set a police vehicle afire, the cops fired two rounds in the air to disperse the mob.
“At least five policemen were injured as protesters pelted stones at policemen. They were not ready for talks and even attacked some journalists who were covering their vandalism,” said Kamlesh Razak, SHO of the GRP station, who was also injured in the attack.
The protesters removed fish plates from the tracks at several places and put thick logs on the tracks before they entered the offices and damaged the electronics and computerised signal systems, said officials. According to one estimate, the Railways lost properties worth at least Rs 3 crore. The protesters also allegedly looted cash worth Rs 2 lakh from the ticket counter.
“It could take weeks before the entire technical systems at the station are repaired and brought back to normalcy,” said Bihar Sharif station master Shyamu Chaudhary.
The protesters, who staged pitched battles with policemen for over two hours, were finally dispersed when Nalanda SP Thyagarajan MM deployed a company of RAF, said sources.