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Bihar: Riots rise against Agnipath, a radical recruitment plan

IndiaBihar: Riots rise against Agnipath, a radical recruitment plan

Violent riots against Agnipath, a radical recruitment plan for the Army turned violent as aspirants disrupted rail, road traffic in Bihar.

Violence Erupts Over the Agnipath Scheme

Demonstrations rise against Agnipath, a radical recruitment plan for the armed forces, and turned violent today as Army aspirants disrupted rail and road traffic in several parts of Bihar for the second consecutive day.

The protestors smashed glass windows of the intercity express train at Bhabhua Road railway station and set one coach on fire. Holding a banner saying “Indian Army lovers,” they raised slogans rejecting the new recruitment scheme.

At the railway station in Arrah, police had to resort to tear gas shelling to disperse a huge crowd of protestors who pelted stones at the police. Visuals showed railway staff using fire extinguishers to put out a fire caused by protesters throwing furniture on the tracks and setting them alight.

In Nawada, groups of young men burnt tyres at a public crossing and raised slogans demanding the rollback of the tour of duty scheme. They also blocked the railway tracks at the Nawada station and burnt tyres on the track. Visuals from the spot show a huge crowd damaging railway property and shouting expletives at PM Modi. Many can be seen doing pushups on the railway tracks while the police try to appeal for peace through a handheld public address system.

In Jehanabad, students pelted stones injuring several people including cops who hunted them down to clear the railway tracks where they had camped to disrupt rail traffic. Dramatic visuals from the railway station showed the police and protesting students pelting stones at each other. The cops also pointed their guns at the protesters to scare them away.

Agnipath, the tour of duty scheme, proposes the recruitment of jawans on a contractual basis for a four-year period followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits. The new recruitment plan aims to cut down the government’s massive salary and pension bills and free up funds for arms procurement.

In Saharsa, students flocked to the railway station and pelted stones when the police tried to chase them away to prevent rail traffic disruption.

Violent mobs could also be seen in Chapra, carrying heavy wooden sticks and smashing state roadways buses in protest.

Protests have been reported from several parts of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh as well.

Yesterday, protests broke out in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and Buxar with the protesters asking what they will do after four years.

Suspicion About Agnipath From Citizens.

There is a pervading sense among people that the Agnipath scheme will be used against Indians themselves, by using government resources to train up soldiers, who will then be used to fight against Indians themselves, such as policing the country.

Here are some of the opinions. “Mostly won’t give their lives for 4 years serving. They will be only eligible to join RSS sena.”

“Private army, They will come from Sangh Parivar and go back to Sangh Pariwar as military-trained soldiers.”

“If nobody can see the real motive behind the scheme then, God bless India and its people. A new kind of ‘sevaks’ trained using Govt resources.”

Even the Army aspirants are unhappy. Retired Major General Bakshi was very alarmed at the scheme and tweeted “Let’s not destroy our institutions during great threat from China & with a high threat From China and Pak this is not the opportune time to generate great organisational turbulence.”

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