Protests an Eye Opener

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The ‘Agnipath’ scheme termed as a historic and transformative measure by the government, has met unprecedented levels of agitations and protests in several states across India…reports Asian Lite News

Several students along with the members of All India Students’ Association (AISA) and AAP’s Chatr-Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) on Friday staged a protest over the Central government’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment in the armed forces and demanded its rollback.

Holding placards, the students raised slogans against the government and sat on the road in between the old Delhi Police headquarters and the Gate No 5 of the ITO Delhi Metro Station.

However, as the numbers kept rising, the security personnel, including CRPF, removed the protesters from the site. Several protesters were detained by the Delhi Police.

One of the protesters said they did not want a contract job. “Where will we go after years? Our life and career is at stake. The government needs to take it back,” a protestor said.

AISA National President N. Sai Balaji said the government cannot silence voices protesting against a policy that will dilute security of India and professionalism of the Defence forces. “Agnipath will destroy lives of youth who will be hired through contractualisation in Defence forces,” he said.

Meanwhile, DMRC informed that all gates of ITO Metro Station and Dhansa Bus Stand Metro stations were closed in wake of the protest. It further informed that all gates of Delhi Gate and Jama Masjid Metro Stations were also shut.

The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday approved the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme for the Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. The youth selected under this scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’. About 46,000 of them will be recruited this year.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the scheme is a transformative initiative and under it the Indian youngsters will get an opportunity to serve in the armed forces.

“The scheme will increase employment opportunities and aims to create a youthful profile of the Armed forces,” Singh said.

However, the scheme, termed as a historic and transformative measure by the government, has met unprecedented levels of agitations and protests in several states across India

Eye Opener

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president K.T. Rama Rao on Friday said the violent protests against the Central government’s new Army recruitment Agnipath scheme is an eye-opener.

 Rama Rao stated that the violent protests are also acute indicator of the magnitude of unemployment crisis in the country.

KTR, as the Telangana minister is popularly known, took to Twitter to slam the Narendra Modi government after large-scale violence rocked Secunderabad railway station.

  “Pehle Desh ke Kisan Ke Saath khilwad Aur Ab Desh ke Jawan Ke Saath khilwad,” wrote KTR.

 “From One Rank – One Pension to proposed No Rank – No Pension,” he added.

  Youth protesting against the new recruitment scheme went on rampage at Secunderabad railway station on Friday, setting afire trains and vandalising railway station.

  One protestor was killed and three others injured when police opened fire to bring the situation under control.

Situation in UP

Widespread protests against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme for the recruitment of armed forces have spread to several districts in Uttar Pradesh.

Bulandshahr, Meerut, Agra, Mathura, Varanasi, Unnao, Gorakhpur, Gonda, Rae Bareli and Ballia are among the districts that have witnessed protests, with youth demanding the scheme’s withdrawal.

In several districts, the police had to resort to lathi charge and fire teargas shells to disperse the mob. In Bulandshahr, protesters blocked the busy GT Road.

  “We strongly oppose the new recruitment scheme. We want the old recruitment scheme back,” one of the protesters said.

  Bulandshahr Superintendent of Police, Shlok Kumar said: “Some youngsters gathered to stage a protest in the morning. They later called it off on the assurance given by police officials.”

  Ballia was the worst affected district since protesters set bogies of the Sealdah Express on fire, vandalised railway property and then attacked shops and kiosks outside the station.

  Job aspirants pelted stones at a government bus in Agra, triggering deployment of additional police personnel to control the situation.  In Firozabad, protesters vandalised roadways buses.

  Youth also gathered along the Agra-Delhi highway, seeking the revival of the old recruitment policy in the armed forces. Traffic was blocked for several hours on this route.

  Agra Senior Superintendent of Police, Sudhir Kumar Singh, said: “A large number of students come to Agra to prepare for exams through coaching centres. These job aspirants reached here and blocked the road.”

 In Rae Bareli and Gonda, the protesters raised slogans and blocked traffic.

The Agnipath scheme was announced on June 14 to recruit jawans into the Army, Navy and the Air Force for a four-year period followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.

Under the new policy, 25 per cent of the jawans would get a chance for permanent recruitment on the basis of their performance.

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