Agnipath recruitment scheme: Violent protests erupt across country

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.

AgenciesUpdated: Thursday, June 16, 2022, 12:49 PM IST
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Nawada: After the Centre launched the Agnipath recruitment scheme, the Armed forces aspirants protested in several parts of the country and demanded the withdrawal of the scheme.

Protests erupted in Bihar, Utarakhand, Rajasthan and UP

Violent protests erupted in states of Bihar and Utarakhand. The army aspirants were seen torching a train and public property. Students also resorted to stone-pelting at Ara railway station in Bihar as fierce protests took place in other areas of the state.

Protests began in some districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday against the 'Agnipath' recruitment scheme of the Central government. 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.

The aspirants are unhappy

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.

In Bihar's Jehanabad, another protestor 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.

Young asspirants were also seen protesting in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh against the recruitment scheme.

The protestors also disrupted rail and road traffic in Jehanabad over the recently announced Agnipath recruitment scheme.

In Chhapra, youth burnt tyres and vandalised a bus in protest against the program.

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.

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