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Arson, vandalism, clashes in 17 UP districts
Lucknow: Young men vandalised trains, damaged buses and torched a police outpost on Friday as they protested against the Agnipath scheme in 17 districts across the state, including Ballia, Aligarh, Firozabad, Amethi, Varanasi, Unnao and Deoria.
In Ballia, agitated young men torched one bogie of a train and vandalised a special train from Mumbai to Ballia. They also vandalised several state transport buses. Police lobbed teargas shells and took 100 persons into custody.
In Aligarh district, youngsters torched several state transport buses and the Jattari police outpost was vandalised and set on fire. Police used tear gun at several places to control the situation but faced difficulty at several places due to large number of agitators.
In Prayagraj, hundreds of youth protested near the Sahson bypass. Senior police officials with heavy force reached the spot and tried to pacify the situation. In Meerut district, an agitated crowd choked the Commissionery crossing and clashed with police. Police used mild force to disperse the crowd.
It was reported that in Tappal area of Aligarh district agitators attacked a PAC jawan near the Yamuna Expressway and damaged government property there. Also, the vehicle of the SDM was vandalised in Jattari area.
In Ahmadgarh area of Bulandshahr district, agitated youngsters hurled stones on buses and several buses were vandalised. Police had taken six miscreants into custody from Shikarpur area last night and vehicle of the SP was targeted in Gulavathi area.
Trains, buses under attack
Raising slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Agnipath Vapas Lo’, youths vandalised trains and torched a railway coach in Ballia and damaged buses at other places as protests erupted again in UP on Friday over the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.
Police wielded lathis, lobbed teargas shells and took 100 people in custody in Ballia.
Officials said protests over the recently announced scheme took place at 17 places across the state, including Firozabad, Amethi, Varanasi, Unnao and Deoria.
A bus was set afire on the Yamuna Expressway near Tappal in Aligarh and at least two others damaged. Four buses were damaged in stone pelting on Agra-Lucknow Expressway in Firozabad. Protesters also targeted buses in Varanasi and Ballia.
Several trains were cancelled or held back to prevent damage.
ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said arson was reported from Ballia and Aligarh.
In Ballia, youths set a bogie of a spare coach on fire. Minor incidents were reported from other places. “Police officials have explained o them the scheme. Through the public representatives, the youths are being taken into confidence,” the ADGP said.
A video showed youths raising slogans and vandalising the Ballia-Varanasi Memu and Ballia-Shahganj trains. They also pelted stones near the railway godown and targeted shops on the platform. Ballia SP RK Nayyar said, “Some students, while returning from the railway station, tried to break the window pane of an empty train and also set on fire a bogey. RPF and police brought the fire under control,” he said.