Protests, Arson Across Country As Youth Takes To Streets Over Centre’s Agnipath Scheme


According to sources, in Arrah, the police fired tear gas shells at protesters gathered at a railway station.

NEW DELHI: The government’s new defence recruitment scheme Agnipath has sparked a major debate. While the government has termed it transformative, the lawmakers within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and those in opposition have questioned the intentions of the government. Street Protests were held by youth at various places in the country.

Army aspirants disrupted rail and road traffic in several parts of Bihar on Wednesday in protest against the “Agnipath” scheme which proposes the recruitment of jawans on a contractual basis for four years followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits. A train was set on fire at a railway station in Bihar where students were protesting against the government’s Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.

In the Buxar district, more than 100 young men stormed the railway station and squatted on the tracks, blocking the onward journey of the Patna-bound Janshatabdi Express for almost 30 minutes. Slogans against the scheme were raised .until security personnel led by RPF inspector Deepak Kumar and GRP SHO Ramashish Prasad, arrived at the spot and warned them against disruption of rail traffic. According to reports, in a section of the regional media that the protesters had pelted stones at Pataliputra Express, which passed through the station, though both Kumar and Prasad denied such an occurrence.

In Muzaffarpur town, a large number of Army aspirants vented their ire by placing burning tyres on the roads around the sprawling “Chakkar Maidan” where they turn up in large numbers for physical tests which are mandatory for the recruitment of jawans.

They said they were exasperated to learn about the new job rules which have come after two years of “no recruitment” by the armed forces despite their having passed the requisite physical tests.

Many Army aspirants also marched towards the Collectorate where they submitted a memorandum to the District Magistrate.

In Begusarai, Army aspirants, many of them NCC cadets, staged a demonstration at Mahadev Chowk where they marched a huge poster inscribed with the demand repeal of the Agnipath scheme.

Around 150 people blocked the Ajmer-Delhi National highway on Wednesday in protest.

According to sources, In Arrah, the police fired tear gas shells at protesters gathered at a railway station. Protests were also staged in Chhapra, Nawada Jehanabad, and Munger, Tyres were set ablaze at various places.

In UP’s Bulandshahr, youth preparing for recruitment in the army took hit the streets with tricolours and posters against the government’s new scheme. As the protesters blocked the roads, some clashes were reported between the youth and the police, as the latter forcefully cleared the jam.

Slogans were raised against Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Unnao and Shuklaganj, The police attempted to disperse the protesters.

BJP Lok Sabha member Varun Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the government on the newly announced Agnipath scheme for recruitment of soldiers into the armed forces, saying a government is elected for five years then why are youths being given four years to serve the nation.

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