New Delhi, June 20 (KMS): Over 600 trains were cancelled on Monday as part of Bharat Bandh call against the ‘Agnipath’ military recruitment scheme.
The protesters are demanding a rollback of the scheme while the government is standing its ground.
Even as the protests continued over the Indian government’s ‘Agnipath’ short-term recruitment plan for armed forces, the Army, today. issued a notification for the induction of soldiers under the scheme. The online registration begins from July, said the notification.
Over 600 trains have been cancelled today in view of the Bharat Bandh call in parts of the country over the ‘Agnipath’ scheme. The railways has suffered a major loss of property due to arson and rioting by the protesters over the last five days.
Congress leaders have sat on a ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to express solidarity with the armed forces aspirants protesting against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme. Some Youth Congress workers were detained after they blocked a train at the Shivaji Bridge railway station near Connaught Place. Parts of Delhi witnessed traffic jams as the police tightened security across the city and its bordering areas.
In Haryana, a group of job aspirants blocked the Lal Batti Chowk in Fatehabad, while several others staged a protest on roads in Rohtak district. Security has been stepped up at several locations in Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan also to avoid any untoward incident.
Uttar Pradesh Police said strict action will be taken against those found involved in jeopardising peace. In Punjab, the police have been asked to monitor the activities of social media groups which are allegedly mobilising or spreading instigating information about the scheme.
The Bihar government has increased security at party offices considered vulnerable. As of now, internet services remain shut in 20 districts. In Jharkhand, all schools will remain closed today amid protests over the ‘Agnipath’ scheme.
The three services of the military on Sunday came out with a broad schedule of enrolment under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme and warned those who indulged in violence and arson will not be inducted.
The Home and Defence ministries on Saturday promised new 10 per cent quotas each in jobs for ‘Agnipath’ recruits after their four-year tenure in the armed forces. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the PSUs under his housing and petroleum ministries are also working on plans to induct ‘Agniveers’.
The Home Ministry has further decided to give 3 years of age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles.
Protests erupted in several states after June 14 when the centre unveiled the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment plan. Under the scheme, people between 17.5 and 21 years will be recruited in the armed forces for a four-year period, followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.