‘Agnipath’ stir turns violent in MP’s Gwalior

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior city on Thursday witnessed a massive protest as over 1000 youth vandalised public and private properties, creating panic among the people at railway stations and on the roads. Violence that erupted around 12.30 p.m. from a place named – ‘Gole Ka Mandir’ reached several parts of the city, including two railway stations creating mayhem for over two-and-a-half hours in the city.

Mobs, in the name of protest against the Centre’s ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme, damaged public and private properties at several places in the city. People on roads and at the railway stations had to find a shelter to escape violence.

Protesters not only damaged vehicles on roads but barged into Gwalior railway station and damaged a parked train. The protesters blocked the movement of at least 6-7 trains by keeping wooden logs, tree branches and other railway properties on tracks.

According to North Central Railway (NCR) officials, rail traffic on the Delhi-Gwalior-Bhopal route which connects the national capital with southern and western India, has been badly hit for hours. However, the district police joined by the paramilitary force brought the situation under control by 4 p.m.

Gwalior district SP Amit Sanghi said that a large number of youth gathered at ‘Gole Ka Mandir’ area around 12 p.m. Owing to that a police team led by Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Vaibhav Choukse reached the spot. “We tried to stop them there only, and a conversation was going on. Meanwhile, more youth started joining the protest and their number reached around 1000-1200. They started creating violence at several places,” Sanghi said.

Divided into several groups, the protesters took to the streets and reached the railway station. They vandalised public properties there, which created panic among the passengers at the railway station. “More police teams were deployed and paramilitary staff also joined the operation. The problem was that if the police cornered them from one side, they were taking another route. But, the situation was brought under control,” he added.

Sanghi further informed that the police chased the protesters from Hajeera railway station, but they headed towards the main railway station of Gwalior. “However, there was a heavy deployment of police personnel. Seeing heavy security there at a railway station, they took to the streets and started creating violence on roads,” Sanghi said.

Sanghi said, however, no one was injured in the violence. “Police managed to control the situation. Action would be taken after identifying the protesters. Now, after 4 p.m., the situation in the city is completely under control,” SP said.

Meanwhile, Sanghi also said that an investigation would be initiated as to how such a large number of people gathered. “At the beginning, there were around 200-300 people, but the number swelled all of sudden. It is a matter of investigation,” Sanghi concluded.

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