Amid protests by Railway job aspirants, call for 'Bihar Bandh' over irregularities in RRB recruitment process tomorrow
The government's decision to conduct two computer-based tests for the RRB Non-Technical Popular Categories or NTPC had irked thousands of students across the state who wanted a single test
Patna: All Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) parties have announced their support for a Bihar Bandh' on 28 January, called by a clutch of student organisations against alleged "irregularities" in the Railway Recruitment Board's examination process.
Several students' organisations, including the All India Students Association (AISA), called for the state-wide bandh on Friday to protest against the alleged irregularities in the Railway Recruitment Board's Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB-NTPC) exam 2021.
The protests started in the state after several students claimed that there were discrepancies in the RRB recruitment process. The government's decision to conduct two computer-based tests (CBT) for the RRB Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) had irked thousands of students across the state who wanted a single test.
The results for CBT-I for Group-D jobs was released on 14 January, shortlisting candidates for CBT-II. The protesters had claimed that this criterion for recruitment was clarified in the initial RRB notice inviting applicants. They said notice had spoken of only one exam.
In a joint statement issued in Patna on Thursday, the RJD, Congress, CPI and CPM said, Bihar has the most number of young people in the country and has the highest unemployment rate. Students are being cheated by the Central as well as Bihar governments.
"It keeps promising jobs for them but when they come out on the streets demanding jobs, the Nitish Kumar government rains baton on them."
All parties which form the grand alliance have decided to support the Bihar bandh call given by students union on 28 January. They also demand that "all FIRs registered against students or coaching institutes by the state police must be withdrawn immediately.
Echoing similar view, AISA General Secretary and MLA Sandeep Saurav said that the committee formed by the railway ministry to look into the irregularities in the RRB-NTPC exam, is a conspiracy to postpone the matter till elections are over in UP.
Meanwhile, former state Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who heads the NDA constituent- Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), also came in support of the protesting students.
In the wake of FIRs lodged against several teachers of coaching institutes in Patna, Manjhi on Thursday said that such a step can only help intensify the students' agitation.
FIRs against teachers like Khan Sir could further provoke students for undeclared agitations in Bihar. The time has come for the governments to talk on unemployment and come-out with a solution, Manjhi said.
Recently, Khan Sir, a prominent teacher of Patna, had alleged that the railway ministry placed an additional exam burden on those who have already cleared their first examination. Following his statement, he along with 15 other teachers of prominent coaching institutes in Patna, were booked for provoking students.
Aspirants who indulged in violence and damaged railway property in several parts of the state on Monday and Tuesday had reportedly claimed that they were encouraged after a video of Khan Sir wherein he was seen instigating them to intensify their protest to cancel the RRB-NTPC exams started doing rounds on social media.
Similarly, senior BJP leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, Sushil Modi, on Thursday said the state government should not to take any coercive action against the protesting students. I personally met the Union Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in connection with the ongoing students' protests against the RRB-NTPC exam. The Railway minister has assured me that the ministry will not conduct two computer-based tests for the RRB-NTPC exam.
Protesters allegedly torched four empty coaches of a stationary train in Gaya and blocked rail traffic between Gaya and Jehanabad on Wednesday.
The agitating students had stopped trains like Rajendra Nagar-New Delhi Tejas Rajdhani express, the Sampoorna Kranti express, South Bihar Expres, and Mumbai-bound Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Express.
Protests were also held in Patna, Bhagalpur and Sasaram, Gaya, Bhojpur, Buxar, Muzaffarput and Samstipur distrcits, for nearly five hours on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Patna district magistrate (DM) Dr Chandrashekhar Singh and city SSP MS on Thursday met teachers of several coaching institutes and urged them not to instigate students.
The union Railway ministry has formed a committee which will examine grievances of protesting aspirants. This came a day after Railway issued a public notice on 25 January stating that Railway job aspirants who have indulged in vandalism/unlawful activities may face lifetime debarment' from government jobs.
Indian Railways have requested passengers to bear with the administration for the inconvenience caused
This comes after the bench took serious note of the fact that the son took his mother who is also virtually immobile to a registrar's office in Motihari, Bihar, to get her thumb impression to allegedly sell off her properties worth Rs 2 crore
As per the schedule, the RRB NTPC CBT 2 phase 1 exam will be conducted on 9 and 10 May this year