Agnipath Protest: 24-Year-Old Dead in Secunderabad, Trains Set on Fire

The police arrested protesters and a case was registered against them for rioting and damage to public property.


Video Producer/Editor: Shohini Bose

As protests over the Centre's new Agnipath scheme escalate, one person was killed amid violent demonstrations in Telangana's Secunderabad on Friday, 17 June, Hyderabad North zone police told The Quint.

This comes after huge protests at the Secunderabad Railway Station, during which trains were set ablaze by agitators. Police had reportedly fired shots to disperse the youths gathered.

The deceased was identified as a 24-year-old man named Damera Rakesh, who belonged to Telangana's Warangal. He died while undergoing treatment at a hospital.

The doctors attempted to resuscitate him, but were not able to revive him, Raja Rao, superintendent of the hospital, told news agency ANI.

The police arrested protesters and a case was registered against them for rioting and damage to public property.

Damera Rakesh, the 24-year-old man who died amid violent protests against the Agnipath scheme in Telangana's Secunderabad.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Later on Friday, the police arrested some protesters who torched vehicles and train coaches at the Secunderabad Railway Station.

A total of 12 protesters were injured amid the violence in Secunderabad, along with seven police officials. Eight trains were also damaged by the protesters.

The injured protesters were brought to Gandhi Hospital. Among the wounded, two underwent surgery as one had received injury in the chest while the other's femur was fractured, Rao said. The remaining have suffered minor injuries and have been put under observation.

"Rest all are having minor injuries and all are stable, under observation and supportive treatment," he added.

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    (Photo: PTI)

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    (Photo: PTI)-

The cause of the death and the identity of the deceased remains unknown so far.

At least six others were reportedly injured.


Trains Set Ablaze, Stones Pelted at Secunderabad Railway Station

Around 300-350 protesters gathered at the Secunderabad Railway Station on Friday. The youths set fire to some coaches of three passenger trains at the station.

They also pelted stones and vandalised the railway station, due to which some stalls were damaged. Some other shops near the railway station were also shut amid the protests.

The agitators shouted slogans against the Centre demanding regular recruitment for defence services.

On account of anti-Agnipath scheme protests disrupting train services at Secunderabad Railway Station, the South Central Railways cancelled six trains and partially cancelled some other trains.

A total of 200 train services have been affected due to the ongoing agitation.

Protests over the Agnipath have also been reported from Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West bengal, Haryana, and Punjab.

Police Arrest Protesters for Rioting

The police arrested some protesters at Secunderabad railway station and said that search is still on for other protestors, reported ANI.

The Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO), South Central Railway, said that train operations are scheduled to resume in an hour.

The Government Railway Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the protesters under Section 143 (Unlawful Assembly), 147 (Rioting), 324 (Voluntarily Causing Hurt by Dangerous Weapons), 307 (Attempt to Murder), 435 (Mischief by Fire or Explosive Substance), 427 (Mischief Causing Damage), 448 (House-Trespass), 336 (Endangering Life or Personal Safety of Others), 332 (Causing Hurt to Public Servant), 341 r/w 149 (Wrongful Restraint), of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 150, 151, 152 IRA and Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act (PDPPA).

The CPRO said,

“After protesters were detained by police, train operations will begin in one hour at Secunderabad railway station. Trains which have been stopped at Nampally railway station will start the journey.”

What Is the Agnipath Scheme?

The scheme allows for the induction of about 45,000 people aged 17.5 to 21 years into the military for a four-year period. Recruitment for the same is supposed to begin in the next 90 days, with the first wave expected to arrive in July 2023.

Only 25 percent of these troops will be retained after four years, and they will serve for a total of 15 years in non-officer ranks.

The remaining employees will receive a package worth Rs 11-12 lakh when they leave the service, but they will not be eligible for pension benefits.

Following protests in several states, the Centre on Thursday increased the upper-age limit for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme from 23 from 21 for 2022.

The scheme is being criticised for its employment of the youth for a short-term period, among other things.

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