In a curious case, candidates who are claiming that they have passed the requisite Railway jobs tests, are demanding they be given permanent employment soon. Some of them are also reported to be apprentices working in the Railways. More than just launching their protest, these candidates have even collected on Railway lines and blocked the Mumbai local trains between Kurla, Dara, Matunga and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. They are refusing to leave till their demands are met by the government. However, with authorities desperate to get the train lines open to cater to the rush hour traffic, scuffles between the candidates and police have been reported with some people actually getting injured in the process.
The spontaneous protest started as early as 7 am and a huge crowd has gathered since then. Reportedly there are over 400-500 students at the spot and many bystanders too are present there. Special trains are being put into action to Kurla station in a bid to divert traffic from Dadar Railway station.
Authorities have called in the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) at the spot to try and control the situation. Since these students have refused to leave the area, a lathi charge was ordered.
The Central Railway sought to show that the candidates were wrong to carry out such a protest. In its statement, it said, “There is no provision of giving jobs to the apprentices as per the Apprentice Act. They are given only training of 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 pc of the seats filled through direct recruitment.”