Students in Mumbai started off the Rail Roko protest and had blocked the railway tracks between Matunga and Dadar stations today morning to protest for seeking permanent jobs in railways, stopping the local rail service for lakhs of commuters. However, after intervention of CR and Railway officials, the protesting students have called off the strike – henceforth resuming normal railway service in Mumbai.
In the peak packed morning hours of suburban and long distance rail region in Mumbai between the Matunga and Dadar stations, hundreds of students block the rail tracks to protest demanding permanent jobs in railways. The Rail Roko protest caused blockage of the entire rail track, stopping a number of local as well as long distance trains and causing difficulties to lakhs of commuters. The protestors were students who were demanding permanent jobs in the railways for the ongoing recruitment drive which ends on March 31.
The protests were carried out by activists of the All India Act Apprentice Association (AAAAA) and one of the major demands of agitating students was to comprising those who have passed the Railway Act Apprentice exam, is scrapping the 20 per cent upper limit for hiring. The protests which began at 7 AM in the morning today were a result of no recruitment drives in the railways since four years. One of the protestors said, “There has been no recruitment since last four years. We are struggling from pillars to post. Over 10 students have committed suicide. We cannot let such things happen.”
Responding to the protests, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal appealed protesting students to apply for the ongoing recruitment drive and call off the protest. However after directions from Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, top CR officials and the Railway Ministry held talks with protestors to resolve the issue. During intervention, the Railway officials provided a written assurance to the protestors and hence, the Rail Roko protest was finally withdrawn at around 10:45 a.m. and the highly-vulnerable system started limping back to normal.