The protests which started in Bihar has now spread to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Violence was reported from Chhapra, Jehanabad, Munger and Nawada in Bihar.
The protesters have been demanding withdrawal of the Army’s scheme, under which youth will get a 4-year tenure in the armed forces. They will also be entitled to monetary benefits at the end of their 4-year term.
#Bihar: Youth demonstrate in Chhapra, burn tyres and vandalise bus in protest against the recently announced… https://t.co/3mTIeVnm93
— GLOBAL PRABHAT Patna (@TOIPatna) 1655356541000
The aspirants said they are unhappy with the changes introduced under the new recruitment scheme for the Indian Army — particularly the length of service, no pension provisions for those released early, and the 17.5 to 21 age restriction that now makes many of them ineligible.
“We demand that the recruitment be done as it used to be done earlier. Tour of Duty (ToD) be rolled back and exams be held as earlier. Nobody will go to Army just for four years,” a protestor in Munger told ANI.
#Bihar: Youth hold protest in #Jehanabad over the recently announced#AgnipathRecruitmentScheme for Armed forces. Ra… https://t.co/R0fCx5SPJw
— GLOBAL PRABHAT Patna (@TOIPatna) 1655355221000
In Bihar’s Jehanabad, another protester said, “Where will we go after working for only four years?… we will be homeless after four years of service. So we have jammed the roads; the country’s leaders will now get to know that people are aware.”
“We work hard to get inducted into the Armed forces. How will the service be for four years, with months of training and leaves? How will we protect the nation after getting trained for just three years? The Government has to take back this scheme,” another aspirant stated.
#Bihar: #ArmedForces aspirants protest at Bhabua Road railway station, block tracks & set a train ablaze over… https://t.co/22BBKYpgKE
— The Times Of India (@timesofindia) 1655368512000
Roads blocked, train services disrupted in Bihar
The protestors disrupted rail and road traffic in Bihar’s Jehanabad, Buxar and Nawada districts.
In Chhapra, youth burnt tyres and vandalised a bus in protest against the scheme.
Protesters blocked the movement of trains on Patna-Gaya and Patna-Buxar routes by lying down on the railway tracks in Jehanabad and Buxar districts.
However, Bihar Police along with their railway counterparts immediately removed the protesters from the tracks.
Hundreds of agitators blocked National Highway 83 in Jehanabad and burnt tyres demanding the scrapping of the scheme. They took out processions in the three districts and other parts of the state.
Protesters block Gurugram-Jaipur highway
Hundreds of young people took to the streets in Bilaspur and Sidhrawali areas of Gurugram and Rewari against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme.
The protesters laid a virtual seize on bus stands and roads, crippling traffic on the Gurugram-Jaipur highway, and held a protest at Bilaspur Chowk.
Students protest in several places in UP
Protests began in some districts of Uttar Pradesh against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme.
Students blocked the GT road in Bulandshahr and raised slogans demanding the withdrawal of the scheme which allow short-term recruitment in the armed forces.
The district officials had a tough time in persuading the protesters to call off the blockade. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.
In Gonda, the protests were led by students who carried placards and shouted slogans against the scheme.
Similarly, in Unnao too, protests were held with students and unemployed youth demanding that recruitment be done in the traditional way instead of short-term contract.
The Union cabinet on Tuesday approved the Agnipath recruitment scheme which provides an opportunity for Indian youth to serve in the regular cadre of the Armed Forces for a period of four years.
The scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces – which is indeed the need of the hour.
The selection will be the exclusive jurisdiction of the Armed Forces. A total of 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited this year.
During this period of service to the nation, the Agniveers will be imparted with various military skills and experience, discipline, physical fitness, leadership qualities, courage and patriotism.
With agency inputs