Jobseekers from Bihar go berserk, damage railway properties in West Bengal

Thousands of candidates from Bihar were among 2.5 million aspirants who appeared for recruitment test for 6,000 Group-D positions in West Bengal government on Saturday.

india Updated: May 21, 2017 13:28 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times, Siliguri
Jobseekers,Railway properties,New Jalpaiguri Railway station
Jobseekers from Bihar disrupt train movement by putting tyres on railway tracks in West Bengal’s New Jalpaiguri railway station on Sunday morning. (HT Photo)

Thousands of candidates from Bihar appearing for recruitment test for Group-D positions in West Bengal government went berserk on Sunday morning, blocking rail tracks and vandalising New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station.

The written examination for the jobs was held all across West Bengal on Saturday.

A whopping 2.5 million candidates competed for 6,000 Group-D positions, lowest rung of employment in a government. Thousands of candidates were from Bihar.

Police said trouble started at 6am when jobseekers returning to Bihar started boarding even reserved compartments of the Avadh-Assam Express at the New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

As the passengers who had prior reservations complained, all hell broke loose.

The job aspirants climbed to the engine of the train forcing the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to resort to mild baton charge to disperse them.

But the vandals responded to force’s action by blocking rail tracks, pelting stones at the train and damaging railway properties. They even uprooted a lamp post at platform number 3.

Though there is no report of any casualty, train services were disrupted for hours.

Many trains, including the Rajdhani Express, were detained for hours at the station.

The blockade was lifted only after railways promised to run a special train to take them home, a senior railway officer said.

Due to lack of employment opportunities in Bihar, many youth from the state migrate to other parts of the country for jobs. According to a report of the New Delhi-based Indian Institute of Public Administration 4.42 million people from Bihar migrate every year to various states of India. The report was based on a survey conducted in 2009-10.

Experts say the number will not be much different even today. 60 persons per 1000 are unemployed in the state, according to the fifth annual employment-unemployment survey conducted in 2015-16 by the ministry of labour and employment.

Candidates having master’s or doctoral degrees too took the test on Saturday for the post of peons and orderlies, the minimum eligibility for which is education up to class VIII.

First Published: May 21, 2017 12:47 IST