PATNA: Angry rioters set fire to train carriages in eastern India on Wednesday, while police used tear gas and batons to disperse them.
Since the beginning of the week, the state of Bihar has been on edge due to allegations made by young job hopefuls that an entrance exam for the state-run rail sector was being handled unjustly.
Initially on a limited scale, protests have subsequently grown, with mobs pelting stones at railway cars, obstructing tracks, and burning effigies of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other actions.
For their participation in the demonstrations, which have erupted at railway stations across Bihar and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, more than a dozen people have been arrested.
In the wake of social media footage showing policemen barging into the houses of suspected demonstrators and flogging them, police have come under fire for their heavy-handed approach.
In a Twitter post condemning the attack,” said Priyanka Gandhi, a leading opposition lawmaker, said, “The youth have the right to speak up about unemployment.
In India, unemployment has long been a millstone around its neck, with jobless figures at their lowest levels since the 1970s, even before the COVID-19 outbreak wreaked havoc on the country’s local commerce.
According to local media, more than 10 million people were taking part in the current railway job exams, where they were competing for only 35,000 available positions.