New Delhi, Jan 26 (PTI) Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday urged job aspirants not to destroy public property and assured them that their grievances would be resolved as candidates went on a rampage over alleged irregularities in a recruitment exam by the public transporter.
Earlier in the day, the ministry suspended the Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB NTPC) and the Level 2 exams after reports of vandalism by job aspirants from different parts of the country came to light.
'I am telling the aspirants that this is their own property. Why are they destroying something that is their own? However, authorities will follow due process if public property is damaged,' the minister said at a press conference.
His comments came after violent protests by job aspirants erupted in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Vaishnaw said the Railways is in touch with chief ministers and the issue is being handled 'sensitively'.
'I urge the candidates to put forth their grievances formally. Our intention is to resolve this issue quickly. A committee has been formed and it will examine representations by the candidates,' he said.
A passenger train was set on fire and another was pelted with stones in Bihar on the third day of unrest in Bihar.
'I request students not to take the law into their hands. We will seriously address the grievances and concerns raised by them,' Vaishnaw said.
He said all Railway Recruitment Board chairmen have been asked to listen to the concerns of candidates, compile them and send them to the committee.
'An email address has been set up for this purpose. The committee will go to different parts of the country and listen to the grievances,' the minister said. A crowd stormed the Gaya Junction, raising slogans, and set fire to the Bhabhua-Patna InterCity Express, though nobody was injured.
East Central Railway CPRO Rajesh Kumar told PTI-Bhasha that demonstrations were also witnessed at Taregana, on the outskirts of Patna, and at Jehanabad though agitators there were pacified without much trouble.
Candidates are opposing the Railways' decision to hold the exam in two stages, claiming the second stage for final selection tantamount to 'cheating' those who appeared and cleared the first stage of the RRB-NTPC for computer-based test (CBT) which was released on January 15.
Around 1.25 crore candidates had applied for the exams that had advertised over 35,000 posts from level 2 to level 6.
Protestors squatted on rail tracks at several places on Tuesday, hampering train movement in the state. Several trains were cancelled or ran on alternative routes on account of the protests.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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