Madhya Pradesh: Youngsters stage violent protest against ‘Agnipath’ scheme

Half a dozen states are witnessing protests

FP News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, June 16, 2022, 05:50 PM IST
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youths' protest in Gwalior | Free Press

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh): Hundreds of youths gathered in Gola Ka Mandir area and staged a violent protest against Centre’s Agnipath scheme meant for temporary recruitment of soldiers for armed forces.

Soon after the situation worsened and thousands joined in leading to a law and order issue in the city. To add, most of the main roads of the city are blocked by the demonstrators.

To add, Gwalior region sees majority of youths lining up for police and military services every year.

Over two hundred youths who had gathered at Gola Ka Mandir area staged a chakkajam, burnt tyres and raised slogans against the Centre’s scheme. They demanded that the Centre should cancel the contentious recruitment scheme.

Soon after the senior officials of the police and administration rushed to the spot and tried pacifying the agitators.

Later the youths reached Birlanagar railway station and engaged in arson and rioting. This halted the rail traffic on the route. The agitated youths tried setting up the railway track on fire and hurled stones picking up from tracks, on a train.

They had damaged AC coaches of Bhind-Ratlam Intercity train. The police used tear gas shells but could not control them.

The ruckus also hinted an intelligence failure as youths had started gatherer in Murar area since morning but the administration could not smell a rat. The youths had also engaged in vandalism in Gola Ka Mandir area. Including two scribes, ten persons were injured in the commotion.

The youths had also pelted stones at police force which drove them away by using lathicharge.

After commotion at Birlanagar and Gwalior railway stations, the Railways had closed the up and down track and several trains were cancelled. The vandals had also damaged property at these stations.

Trains moving from Bhopal to New Delhi have been halted at Jhansi while those trains coming in towards Bhopal from New Delhi have been halted at Agra, said officers of Railways.

The city is seeing the multiple protests since noon.

Amit Sanghi, the Superintendent of Police Gwalior said things were under control and there was no major loss to the property. We will scan the CCTV footage and will identify and arrest rioters, he added. A meeting was organised at police control room and cases are being lodged at different police stations over rioting, arson and other charges.

Heavy police force was deployed to control the situation.

The scenes reminded city ugly situation witnessed in year 2014 when thousands of youths went on a rampage during an army recruitment rally in year 2014.

'Youths lose cool over Agnipath scheme'

Agnipath is a short-term recruitment scheme for armed forces and those recruited under the scheme will be called Agniveers. They will be entitled for salaries, medals and other awards but won’t get any pension after completing the service.

Including MP and UP, at least half a dozen states are seeing protests against the scheme on Thursday.

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