New Delhi : Violent protest against contractual recruitment into Armed Forces is spreading to more States. A Varankal native protesting in Telangana’s Secundrabad died in police shooting. 15 others were injured in the incident. In Bihar, where the protests first began, several organisations have called for bandh. Student and youth organisations including SFI and DYFI called for countrywide protests.
Glimpses from across the country
● In protests carried out in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Telangana, agitators torched 12 trains. In Secunderabad alone, 5 engines and 3 coaches were burnt to ashes.
● Roads and rails became picketed in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab and Jammu.
● In many states, BJP offices came under attack and police vehicles burnt.
● Internet has been suspended in Bengal and Haryana
● Train services were suspended to Bengal, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
● A total of 316 train services have been affected, said Railways. 80 mail expresses and 134 passenger trains have been canceled while services of 61 mail/express and 30 passenger trains were partially withdrawn. 11 trains were diverted off route.
● NDA ally JDU also came in solidarity with protest.
● SFI workers took out protest in states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal, Bihar, Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh .
● Railway Minister Aswini Vaishnav urged to not vandalise Railway property.
The Modi govt is staying put with its radical recruitment plan. The notification for Agnipath recruitment will be out in two days, said the Army Chief. Training for new entrants will begin starting December. In 2023, the scheme will be integrated with Armed Forces. Recruitment process for Air Force will begin on June 24, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary said. Age limit for recruitment only for this year has been raised from 21 to 23.
What is Agnipath?
Agnipath is about contractual hiring into defence services, for what the government says will give the Armed Forces a youthful profile. The scheme hopes to draw on highly inspired youth, with self-discipline, diligence and skilled in technology for short military service, who will be known as Agniveers. The customised monthly package along with Risk and Hardship allowances will be paid at all three services and at end of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will receive a one time ‘SevaNidhi” that will comprise their contribution including accrued interest thereon with a matching funding from the government. Seva Nidhi will be exempt from Income Tax. There shall be no entitlement to gratuity or pensionary benefits. Agneevers will be provided non-contributory Life Insurance Cover of Rs 48 lakh for the duration of their engagement period.