Mumbai, Mar 20: Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Tuesday issued a statement saying it was carrying out a massive recruitment drive which was transparent and fair. The statement came after railway apprenticeship program students blocked tracks on the Central Line of the Mumbai local on Tuesday morning. The local trains on Central Line remained halted for about 4 hours as protesters carried out rail roko between Matunga Road and Dadar stations this morning. Also Read - Another Blow to China as Railways Floats Fresh Tender, Pushes 'Make in India' For 44 Vande Bharat Trains

The protesters were students under the Railway apprentice program undergoing skill training. The protesters were demanding assurance that they will be given jobs in the railways. They also accused the police of having lathicharged them. Here is the full text of the statement issued by Goyal after the protests broke out: Also Read - Watch | Rock Python Caught Under The Wheels of a Car in Mumbai, Freed By Rescue Workers

“Indian Railways is currently in the midst of a massive recruitment exercise.  Indian Railways has come out with a policy to ensure a fair, transparent and competitive recruitment process that follows the law and the guidelines laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court. Also Read - Fire Breaks Out at Mumbai's Exchange Building That Houses NCB Office Probing Drug Angle in SSR Case

We have already reserved 20% posts for ‘Course Completed Act Apprentices’ who were engaged in Railway establishments under the Apprenticeship Act. This has been done as per Section 22(1) of the Apprentices Act and the various judgements pronounced by the Hon’ble Supreme Court from time to time. Applicants who completed the Apprenticeship course have also been given an age relaxation equal to the period of apprenticeship.

This is the single largest recruitment ever undertaken by any organisation in India and also the largest opportunity for all sections of youth, including the apprentices to join the Indian Railway in a very transparent and fair manner.

I appeal to my young friends to apply for these large number of jobs, for which the last date of application is 31/03/2018, and join the process of recruitment so that all applicants get a fair and equal opportunity to serve the country.”