Sat. May 28th, 2022

Angry crowds in the East Indies have set trains on fire in protests over access to railway works as police are criticized for violent repression.

Angry crowds in the East Indies set fire to training wagons in protests over access to railway works that saw police crowds violently disperse with tear gas and batons.

Bihar State has been on the run since the beginning of the week over claims by young jobseekers that an entrance examination for the government-controlled rail sector is unfairly conducted.

Demonstrations began on a small scale on Monday, but have since spread, with crowds pelting carriages with stones, blocking tracks and burning the statues of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

People gather near a train set on fire by angry crowds in BiharPeople gather near a train set on fire by angry crowds in protests over access to railway works, in Gaya [AFP]

More than a dozen people have been arrested for participating in the protests, which broke out at railway stations across Bihar and neighboring Uttar Pradesh.

Police have been criticized for a hard-hand repression, with footage on social media showing how officials walk in the homes of alleged protesters and convert them.

“The youth have the right to talk about unemployment,” senior opposition leader Priyanka Gandhi said in a Twitter post condemning the attack.

Unemployment has long been a millstone around the neck of the Indian economy, with unemployment rates at their worst since the 1970s, even before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on local trade.

According to local media, more than 10 million people participated in the current railway employment examinations in competition for just 35,000 vacancies.

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