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Agnipath protest: Less than 300 trains cancelled, Indian Railways back to normalcy | Railways News

The railway operations seemed to be limping back to normalcy after at least five days of violent protests against the recently announced Agnipath military recruitment scheme, with less than 300 trains cancelled on Tuesday. Since the protests broke out over the scheme, around 400 trains have been cancelled on an average per day as agitators torched coaches and damaged railway property. On Tuesday, the national transporter cancelled 270 trains which included 103 mail/express trains and 167 passenger trains. It also partially cancelled three mail/express trains.

The Railways had on Monday said it has cancelled over 600 trains due to the agitations. It cancelled 483 trains on Sunday and 369 trains a day earlier. Several parts of the country witnessed violent protests after the announcement of the scheme that seeks to recruit youths between the age bracket of 17-and-half years to 21 for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. For 2022, the upper age limit has been extended to 23 years.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Anil Puri, additional secretary in the defence ministry’s department of military affairs said at a media briefing that “credible” information on the ‘Agnipath’ scheme has dispelled misinformation about the initiative and asserted that youngsters preparing to become soldiers have returned to physical activities at several places.

The three military services on Tuesday said the Agnipath scheme will not entail any change in the existing system of recruitment of soldiers and will not at all impact their combat capabilities and operational readiness.

While the Ministry of Railways has not estimated the loss incurred by the national transporter, a statement by the spokesperson of East Central Railways, the worst affected zone, said more than 60 coaches and 10 engines were damaged in this zone alone.

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