Agnipath Row: 260 Arrested Amid Violent Protest In UP, Vehicles Vandalised In Bihar


Patna/Lucknow: The government’s new military recruitment plan, Agnipath, has erupted into a serious issue, with protests now spanning eight states. A person was killed in a police shooting while a crowd set fire to trains and destroyed property, causing a security scare.

Protesters battled with police this morning in Bihar, setting numerous vehicles on fire in an attempt to enforce a bandh declared against the contentious recruiting plan. On Friday, raging mobs set fire to scores of railway carriages, engines, and stations, as well as BJP offices, automobiles, and other property, causing the authorities to stop internet access in roughly a third of Bihar.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao of Telangana expressed shock and sorrow over the death of a 24-year-old man who died on Friday when security officers opened fire on agitators at the Secunderabad railway station. According to a press release from Mr Rao’s office, the victim’s family will get  ₹ 25 Lakhs in compensation, as well as one government employment for an eligible member of the family.

The incident sparked a verbal spat between Mr Rao’s government and the opposition BJP, with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao blaming Rakesh’s death on the Centre’s “faulty procedures.”

Faced with widespread opposition to the policy, the government has now proposed further benefits for Agniveers, including employment reservations in the central armed police forces.

At least 250 people have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh over the protests, which has seen hundreds of angry youth, carrying bamboo sticks and stones, storming railway premises across cities and laying siege to highways. Heavy police presence was reported in Jaunpur district today after protesters blocked roads and targeted private vehicle amid the protests.

BJP-ruled On Friday, enraged protestors flung stones at automobiles in Ballabhgarh, sat on railway tracks in Jind, and burned tyres in Rohtak, all in Haryana.

Following Friday’s violence in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, at least 15 demonstrators were arrested. Nearly 600 protestors gathered on tracks near a railway station, flung stones, and blocked a road, prompting police to use teargas shells to manage the situation, according to officials.

‘Agnipath’ is a game-changing scheme that will give the armed forces a tech-savvy youthful profile, Major General Vikas Saini, GOC 51 Sub Area, was quoted saying amid protests against the recruitment scheme. “Agnipath scheme aims to bring paradigm changes in the human resource management of the Indian Army and prepare the army as a future-ready fighting force capable of meeting multiple challenges across the whole spectrum of conflicts,” Mr Saini said.

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