Mumbai: Tuesday morning saw suburban railway services in Mumbai come to halt when about 500 job-seeking students sat on the railway tracks between Matunga and Dadar railway stations demanding jobs for them in the railways. The students conducted a rail-roko protest on all the four lines between the two stations from 7 AM until the Railway Protection Force and the police came in had to resort to mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. The services resumed at about 11 AM later.
In a release issued by the Central Railway, it said, "There is no provision of giving jobs to the apprentices as per the Apprentice Act. They are given only training for a specified period to improve their skills and experience of having worked in the field. However, Ministry of Railways have taken a decision and reserved 20 percent of the seats filled through direct recruitment. The notification is already issued with last date of submitting application as March 31, 2018. Apprentices can apply against this notification and Special Examination will shortly be held for Apprentices who have done training in Railway Workshops under Apprentices Act."
Several office-goers and other passengers were troubled as the strike was conducted during the peak hours. The BEST had to deploy extra busses on the roads to help commuters reach their locations. The students told news agencies that they won't budge from the tracks until the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal comes and meets them and their several prayers made to DRM (Divisional Railway Manager) Mumbai Division had failed." The students who belong to the All India Act Apprentice Association (AAAAA) demanded the scrapping of the 20 per cent quota for direct recruitment and jobs for local candidates in all states who have cleared the All India Railway Act Apprentice Exams.
“Recruitment in Railways is underway at a large scale. On directives of Supreme Court, Indian Railways has made a recruitment policy that is unbiased & transparent," said Piyush Goyal on the Railway job aspirants' agitation in Mumbai