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Karnataka, Assam on rampage as more states join protests against Agnipath Scheme

Violent protests against the scheme are already underway in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states

Sunday June 19, 2022 11:31 AM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Agnipath Protest

New Delhi: Karnataka and Assam, both ruled by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), are the latest to witness strong protest against the newly launched army recruitment scheme Agnipath.

Violent protests against the scheme are already underway in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states.

In a major development on the issue, the Council of Ministers in Rajasthan Saturday passed a resolution urging the Narendra Modi government to reconsider the scheme’s implementation.
Rajasthan is one of the Indian states that send a good number of army personnel.

A Bluff

Protesting against the Agnipath Scheme students in Assam’s Nagaon district on Saturday called it a “bluff” which would adversely impact the future of the aspirants looking to serve in the armed forces.


They also alleged that the scheme has been introduced in order to destroy the scope of securing permanent jobs in the armed forces.

Meanwhile, in view of the large-scale agitations leading to damages to railway properties, including burning of train coaches in Bihar and elsewhere, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has cancelled a few trains in this route.

Detrimental for the youth

Protests against the short-term recruitment scheme into the armed forces, erupted in several parts of Belagavi and Dharwad districts in Karnataka on Saturday, forcing the police to resort to lathi charge to disperse the mob at Dharwad city.

The cops have so far taken 30 protesters into custody.

Hundreds of youth had gathered near the Naika Adda circle in Dharwad to stage a protest aginst the Agnipath scheme, forcing the Additional DC to rush to the spot and urge the agitators to drop their plan.

However, when the youth refused to oblige, the police intervened and a verbal altercation broke out between the protesters and the cops. The police then reorted to lathi charge and took 30 prtesters into custody.


Meanwhile, hundreds of youth staged a protest in Gokak city in Belagavi district demanding reinstatement of the old recruitment scheme, raising slogans against the Central government.

They claimed the Agnipath scheme is detrimental for the youth and will push them on the verge of suicide. The Central government is playing with the career and future of the youth, they said.

A large group of youth staged a protest at Khanapur in Belagavi district under the leadership of Congress MLA Anjali Nimbalkar. The youth congregated at the Malaprabha Taluk Maidan and took out a protest march to the Tehsildar's office, where they submitted a memorandum in the name of the President of India demanding roll back of the scheme.

Protests were also held in Nippani town of Belagavi district of Karnataka.

Push-ups on railway tracks

A group of agitators protesting against Agnipath, the short-term service scheme for recruitment in the Army proposed by the Union government, on Saturday resorted to a unique way of protest by doing push-ups on railway tracks at Barrackpore railway station in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal.


As a result of the unique protest blocking the railways tracks, several trains were held up outside the station. There was an altercation between the daily railway commuters and the agitators. Some of the commuters also blamed a section of the media for unnecessarily highlighting the protests which encourage the agitators.

A huge police contingent reached the spot. First, the police personnel tried to verbally pursue the agitators to stay away from the railway tracks. However, that did not work and the police had to resort to use of force and mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. After almost two hours, the blockade was removed and train services resumed.

At the industrial township of Durgapur in West Bardhaman district of West Bengal, the supporters of youth and student wings of the CPI-M organised a protest rally demanding immediate cancellation of Agnipath. However, the event was peaceful.

Agnipath protests in Kozhikode, T'puram

Several unemployed youths who have been waiting for a job in the army staged protest marches in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode on Saturday.

Most of the youths reached the state capital through information on WhatsApp groups and the march which started near the Thiruvananthapuram central railway station with around 500 people increased in size with several youths joining midway.


Police tried to dissuade the youths from participating in the march and was heard telling them not to get into criminal cases by marching towards the Kerala Raj Bhavan.

Amit, a 21 year old youth from Kollam district who had come to Thiruvananthapuram for the march, told IANS:

"I qualified in the physical test and was waiting for the written test. With the Agnipath, I think it is curtains down on my dreams and want the government to roll it back. I had come from Kollam to participate in the march after being alerted on WhatsApp by fellow job aspirants."

Violent Protest in Jehanabad

Despite the ongoing Bihar Bandh called in the wake of the massive violence against the Agnipath army recruitment scheme, agitators on Saturday set fire to a bus, truck and two other vehicles in Jehanabad.

The incident took place near the Tehta police outpost on the Patna-Gaya highway.

The violent mob also pelted stones on a police party which led to a sub-inspector rank officer getting injured.


The injured sub-inspector was identified as Deeraj Kumar, incharge of the Tehta police outpost.

Following the violence, the Jehanabad DM and SP immediately rushed to the spot accompanied by a large number of police personnel and initiated lathi charge to disperse the agitators.
Phone and Internet services have been suspended in the violence-hit districts of Kaimur, Rohtas, Bhojpur, Aurangabad, Buxar, Nawada, West Champaran, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Begusarai, Vaishali, and Saran.

Rajasthan on boil for 3rd consecutive day

Protests continued in Rajasthan for the third consecutive day against the 'Agnipath' scheme launched by the Centre for short-term recruitment in the armed forces.

Students blocked the Jaipur-Agra railway track in Bharatpur on Friday morning, where they clashed with the police and even pelted stones. Similar demonstrations were staged in many other districts.

In one incident, a youth preparing for the army in Alwar tried to commit suicide but timely intervention by his friends saved his life.

The protest started from Bharatpur where a large number of youth sat on the railway tracks and started raising slogans against the Centre. When the police tried to arrest them, the youth pelted stones on them. Later, the police fired tear gas shells to disperse the youth.

In Sikar, hundreds of youth preparing for getting into the army raised slogans against the Central government and also burnt the effigy of the Prime Minister. The demonstration turned violent in Sikar's Neemkathana, where the protesters ransacked a roadways bus.

In Kota, several youth took out a protest rally against the scheme, while many held similar demonstrations in Jaipur as well.

When the youth who were protesting in Alwar's Bibirani were chased away by the police, the protesters pelted stones on the cops.


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