The Gurgaon administration has banned large gatherings amid growing protests by military candidates against the new recruitment policy, Agneepath.
Apart from Palwal, where violence broke out yesterday and where mobile internet and SMS were suspended for 24 hours, Faridabad’s Ballabhgarh also faced a 24-hour connectivity blackout.
Services that have been discontinued include mobile internet, SMS including bulk messages but excluding banking and mobile recharge, and dongles based on mobile networks.
Officials said the move would help in maintaining law and order and prevent people from spreading rumours.
In Palwal, protesters torched government vehicles yesterday and pelted stones at the Deputy Commissioner’s house.
Youth preparing to join the army have set fire to trains in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to protest against the four-year contract under the Agneepath policy. They were hoping for a permanent career in the Armed Forces, although a portion of the ‘Agneepaths’ who joined through the ‘Agneepath’ scheme would be inducted into the Army for a permanent career.
Previously, soldiers were recruited separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force and entered service for up to 17 years, usually for the lowest rank. The short tenure has created concern among potential recruits.
The new recruitment scheme aims to cut the government’s huge salary and pension bills and free up funds for arms purchases.