Huge protests erupt in Bihar, train set on fire over railway exam, govt sets up panel to tackle grievances
Patna/IBNS: A passenger train was set on fire and another was attacked by stones as violent protests by job aspirants erupted in Bihar over a railway recruitment exam on Wednesday when the entire country was celebrating the 73rd Republic Day.
Agitators squatted on railway tracks, vandalised property, clashed with security forces and targeted several trains, in different places of Bihar severely affecting services.
Visuals from a protest site in Gaya showed a train engulfed in flames while the firemen trying to put it out.
The protests involve the Railway Recruitment Board's Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB-NTPC) exam 2021.
Students have opposed the decision by the Railways to hold the exam in two stages, claiming that the second stage is unfair to those who have cleared the first stage.
The result for the first stage (RRB NTPC CBT 1) was released on Jan 14-15 for all 5 levels and shortlisted candidates would have appeared for CBT 2 (second stage), which was to be conducted separately for all levels.
Following the violent protest on Wednesday, the Ministry of Railways has announced the postponement of the RRB NTPC CBT-2 exam that was scheduled to start on Feb 15.
The Ministry of Railways also constituted a five-member team to look into the concerns raised by students in regard to the result of the first stage computer-based test of Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) in 2021.
Around 1.25 crore candidates had applied for the exams that had advertised over 35,000 posts from level 2 to level 6. Around 60 lakh people appeared for the exam.
Meanwhile, the government has directed all Chairpersons of Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) to receive the grievances of candidates through their existing channels, compile these grievances and send the same to the Committee.
Candidates have been given three weeks time up to Feb 16, to submit their concerns.
"The candidates can lodge their concerns and suggestions to the committee at following email ID firstname.lastname@example.org," said the Ministry in an official statement here.
The committee, set up on Wednesday to look into the grievances, will submit their recommendations after examining candidates' concerns on March 4.
As per the official statement, the committee will look into the results of the first stage and methodology used for shortlisting candidates for second stage CBT, without affecting the existing shortlisted candidates.
"The committee will also execute a plan of 2nd Stage Computer Based test," said the statement.
On Tuesday, the Railways had issued a general notice, warning its job aspirants that those found involved in vandalism and unlawful activities while protesting, will be barred from getting recruited into the Railways.
However, protests by canidates in Bihar against the Railway Recruitment Board's Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB-NTPC) exam 2021 turned violent on Wednesday, and a train was set on fire while stones were pelted on another one.
Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnav earlier in the day urged protesters not to destroy railway property and assured them that exams will be conducted in a transparent manner.