Due to the damage and agitation that took place against Agnipath scheme, Indian Railways suffered a loss of Rs 259.44 crores, said Aswini Vaishnav, Union Railway Minister to Rajya Sabha today.
While replying to the questions asked by Congress leader Akhilesh Prasad Singh, the Minister further said, “a separate data regarding the amount of refund granted to passengers due to disruption of rail services on account of public disorder consequent to agitation like those held after launching of Agnipath scheme is not maintained”.
“However, during the period from June 14, 2022 to June 30, 2022, a total refund of approximately Rs 102.96 crores was granted on account of cancellation of trains,” told Vaishnav.
Vaishnav answered while being questioned by the Congress MP if it is a fact that an “extensive loss of the railway property has taken place on account of the agitations against the implementation of the Agnipath scheme”.
The Minister also said that police and public order are state subjects under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Therefore, Vaishnav said, state governments are responsible for the prevention, detection, registration and investigation of crime and maintenance of law and order on Railways through their law enforcement agencies viz. Government Railway Police (GRP) and District Police. Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of GRP/District Police to provide better protection and security to railway property, passenger area and passengers and for matters connected therewith.
“Cases of damage, destruction of government property including railway property are registered and investigated by the concerned GRP and State Police under IPC and Railways Act.”
Trains went up in flames, and public and private vehicles were attacked, while railway stations and highways turned into battlegrounds in many states amid burgeoning protests against Agnipath, the defence recruitment scheme.
Unveiling the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last month said that it was a transformative initiative that would provide a youthful profile to the armed forces.
(With inputs from ANI)