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Army Aspirants’ Protests Over Agnipath Scheme Turn Violent


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s newly launched ‘Agnipath’ scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces, largely on a short-term contractual basis set furore in several parts of North India. Protests against the Agnipath scheme meant for recruiting ‘Agniveers’ continued for the second consecutive day, turning violent!

In Bihar, hundreds of angry Army aspirants and other people burnt tires and disrupted rail and road traffic. In the Kaimur district, the protestors blocked railway tracks and set a train on fire at Bhabua Road railway station.
“We prepared for a long and now they have brought ToD as a 4-year job. We do not want that but the old recruitment process,” the protestors said. Visuals showed the police and protesting students stone pelting at each other.

Agnipath Scheme: Violent Protest Erupts In Bihar & Other States Over  Military Recruitment Scheme

Credits: ABP News

In Himachal Pradesh, a large number of Army aspirants staged a protest against the scheme at the Gaggal airport ahead of PM Modi’s visit.

Protest Against Agneepath Scheme: Just Before Pm's Roadshow, Fierce  Demonstration In Gagal, Youth Took To The Streets In Hamirpur Too - Agnipath  Scheme Protest: सेना भर्ती नियमों में संशोधन पर हिमाचल में

Credits: Amar Ujala

In Haryana, hundreds of young people took to the streets against the Agnipath scheme on that day. The protestors took to the streets in parts of Gurugram and Rewari. They laid a virtual seize on bus stands and roads, crippling traffic on the Gurugram-Jaipur highway and held a protest at Bilaspur Chowk.

Agnipath Protests Turn Violent in Haryana Police Vehicles Set On Fire In  Palwal Highways Blocked


Police personnel deployed at the DC residence in Palwal resorted to aerial firing to warn protesters who were pelting stones at the residence amidst their protests. Some policemen were left injured and police vehicles were also vandalized.

Protests against the recruitment scheme began in some districts of Uttar Pradesh as well. Students blocked the GT road in Bulandshahr and raised slogans demanding the withdrawal of the scheme that envisages the recruitment of soldiers on a contractual basis. The protesters also submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.

Protests against Agnipath scheme in Bihar & UP - ​Protests against Agnipath  | The Economic Times

Credits: The Economic Times

In Gonda, students staged demonstrations by carrying placards and shouting angry slogans against the scheme. Protests erupted in Unnao city as well, where students and unemployed youth demanded that recruitment be done in the traditional way instead of a short-term contract.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Union government to give youths the chance to serve the country throughout their life, not just for four years.

The center’s plan aims to retain only 25 percent of the Agniveers and they will go on to serve for a full 15 years in non-officer ranks. The remaining will exit the services with a package between Rs11 lakh -Rs12 lakh, but won’t be eligible for pension benefits.

It is clear that the government’s policy is against the general public opinion. Would the protests add to the list of anti-CAA and farmers’ protests? or would the government take a learning lesson and resolve the crisis, remains to be seen.

References: Times Now, Free Press Journal

Featured Image Source: Samyadhara

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