The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) youth wings of Thane protested against the Centre's Agnipath scheme by demonstrating Rasta Roko and blocked the highway in Thane for half an hour on Monday. Following the protest, the Naupada police station in Thane detained all the NCP workers and leaders involved in the demonstrations.
The protest was been organised under the guidance of state housing minister Jitendra Ahwad and Thane's city NCP president Anand Paranjape and also NCP youth city president Vikram Khamkar and state general secretary Umesh Agarwal.
Earlier on Sunday, state housing minister Dr Jitendra Awhad called a Press Conference in Thane and while interacting with the media said, "Agnipath scheme is a scheme which will give youths a chance in the army for four years on a contractual basis. The central government has introduced the Agnipath scheme by stopping regular military recruitment. According to the plan, young men enlisting in the army will retire after four years. This will lead to unemployment in the country. Also, the BJP leaders themselves are not understanding the scheme. I don't know in which direction the country and the youth of this country are heading."
The minister also pointed out how a BJP leader during a press conference had said that these youths will be appointed as security guards at the BJP office.
Meanwhile, the Thane highway was blocked for about half an hour and thus the vehicles leading to Mumbai were stopped which caused a huge traffic jam. About half an hour later, Naupada police arrested all the activists.
NCP youth city president Vikram Khamkar said that "The journey of the Modi government which came to power saying that it will give one rank one pension to the soldiers has now come to a halt with 'No Rank No Pension'."
He added, "Armed gangs can be formed after four years when the youth who served as Agniveers will not have any job. They can be used against ordinary people or even to the point of overthrowing a state government. It is unbearable to imagine what will happen in the future if these firefighters fall into the hands of terrorists in our country"
The minister went on to say that "Even today, it is a fact that only three per cent of the people who have retired from the army get jobs. As a result, when the future looks bleak after four years of service, it is difficult to predict which path the young people trained in weapons will follow." "Therefore, this scheme should be cancelled." demanded Khamkar.
Umesh Agarwal, state general secretary of NCP said, "Agniveer type is a game with the life of Bahujans. Only the children of Bahujans are joining the army. When a soldier of our village is martyred, the whole village cries. Because he takes pills for us. This is the biggest insult to a class that serves the country. Agnipath scheme should be rolled back on a priority basis."
NCP youth wing activists Sameer Netke, Shrikant Taware, Abhishek Pusalkar, Shakib Date and Maisar Sheikh along with others participated in the protest.