Bharat Bandh Call Over ‘Agnipath:
The opposition kept pressure on the government and pressured to withdraw the ‘Agneepath’ scheme immediately.
With the government taking its stand on the ‘Agneepath’ military recruitment scheme, there have been calls for ‘Bharat Bandh’ by some organizations demanding the withdrawal of the scheme.
Bharat Bandh Agnipath: Here are the big stories:
Over 500 trains have been canceled today amid a Bharat Bandh call over the Centre’s ‘Agneepath’ short-term recruitment scheme for the armed forces. In the last five days, due to arson and riots by the protesters, there has been a huge loss of property to the railways.
Congress leaders have sat on a ‘satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar in the national capital to express solidarity with the armed forces candidates opposing the ‘Agneepath’ scheme. Traffic jams were witnessed in some parts of Delhi as the traffic police closed several roads. Heavy traffic jams were also witnessed on Delhi-Noida Direct Flyway and Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.
Bharat Bandh Agnipath: Uttar Pradesh Police said strict action would be taken against those who endanger the peace. In Punjab, the police have been asked to monitor the activities of social media groups that are allegedly gathering or spreading information about the scheme.
The Bihar government has increased the security of party offices which are considered sensitive. Internet services are still suspended in 20 districts. In Jharkhand, all schools will remain closed today in protest against the ‘Agneepath’ scheme.
Security has also been beefed up at several places in Haryana, Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan to avoid any untoward incident. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Faridabad and Noida prohibiting assembly of four or more persons.
The three services of the Army on Sunday released a comprehensive program of enrollment under the ‘Agneepath’ scheme and warned that those involved in violence and arson will not be included.
Bharat Bandh Agnipath: The Home and Defense ministries on Saturday promised a new 10 per cent quota in jobs for ‘Agneepath’ recruits after four years in the armed forces. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the PSUs under his Ministry of Housing and Petroleum are also working on a plan to include ‘Agnivar’.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has further decided to give a relaxation of 3 years over and above the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles. Earlier, the Center had raised the upper age limit for recruitment to 23 years for 2022 as a one-time measure to pacify the protesters.
The opposition has maintained pressure on the government, pressuring the immediate withdrawal of the recruitment scheme. ‘Agneepath’ has also faced criticism from some Army veterans, who argue that the four-year tenure will stifle the fighting spirit in the ranks and put them at risk.
Protests erupted in several states from Wednesday against the Centre’s Agneepath scheme to recruit soldiers between 17.5 and 21 years in the armed forces for a period of four years, followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits happened.