Protests are going on against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme — a radical recruitment plan for the armed forces.
The agitation turned violent on Thursday as Army aspirants disrupted rail and road traffic in several parts of Bihar for the second consecutive day.
Among other vandalism acts, trains were set afire, rail and road traffic disrupted, window panes of buses smashed, and stone pelting by angry youth. They have been demanding the withdrawal of the new short-term recruitment scheme ‘Agnipath‘.
Violent protests have already spread to multiple states across the country. Haryana and UP also reported violent protests.
In order to avert any major consequences, phone internet and SMS services were suspended for 24 hours in Palwal district of Haryana.
This came after the incidents of stone-pelting and violence by Army aspirants. Police had to resort to aerial firing after a mob attacked them and set their vehicles on fire.
The new Agnipath tour of duty scheme proposes the recruitment of jawans on a contractual basis for a four-year period.
Also, there will be compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits. The new recruitment plan also aims to cut down the government’s massive salary and pension bills and free up funds for arms procurement.
Under the Agnipath scheme, about 45,000 people between the age of 17.5 years and 21 years will be inducted into the services for a four-year term.