New Delhi: Hundreds of protesters on June 16 launched a massive protest which soon turned violent in the Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh against the Centre’s ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme. Police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.
Protesters went on a rampage, damaging and vandalizing public properties at Birla Nagar railway station in Gwalior. They broke the windows of some trains, set things on fire, burnt tyres, and raised slogans against the Centre’s new recruitment policy. Train movement was affected in North Central Railway’s Jhansi division.
The protesters blocked the movement of at least 6-7 trains by keeping wooden logs, tree branches, and other railway properties on tracks. They also resorted to violence on the main roads, breaking window panes of buses and other vehicles.
Meanwhile, police in Haryana’s Palwal town fired shots into the air to disperse hundreds of violent protesters out on the streets to demonstrate against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment to defense services.
More than 15 districts across Bihar witnessed massive protests and vandalism against the scheme. In Gopalganj district, the agitating aspirants set three coaches of a passenger train on fire at Sidhwalia railway station. In Chhapra, the protesters attacked as many as 12 trains and set three of them on fire.
Congress leader and ex-serviceman Capt Ajay Yadav said the scheme was aimed to demean the spirit of forces and cut down on benefits being given to soldiers.
The Union Cabinet this week approved the Agnipath recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. In this scheme, around 46,000 soldiers will be recruited between the ages of 17-and-a-half years and 21 years into the three services in a contract for four years.