As ‘Agnipath’ Protests Spread, Govt. Announces More Concessions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (ANI Photo)NEW DELHI: With the protests against the new military recruitment scheme spreading to more than eight states, the Centre today announced 10 per cent reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also announced three years’ age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment in the two paramilitary forces.The first batch of Agniveer will get age relaxation of five years beyond the prescribed upper age limit, it said.The announcement comes days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that preference would be given to ‘Agniveers’ in the CAPFs. The Centre has already announced “one-time” change in the age limit for the new military recruitment scheme to 23 from 21. The decision was taken as no recruitment has taken place in the last two years.

Currently, over 73,000 posts are vacant in five wings of the paramilitary forces – Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Shastra Seema Bal (SSB), and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
As many as 73,219 posts are vacant in CAPFs and Assam Rifles, suggests Union Home ministry data. Besides, 18,124 posts are also vacant in police forces in Union Territories.The 10-lakh-strong CAPF is one of the largest employment generating agencies under the home ministry.
On the third day of protests, the agitation spread to the southern state as it goes on in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana.Bihar Delhi,West Bengal ,Telangana.
The way the youth are opposing the Agneepath scheme, it seems that the government is once again repeating the old mistake of the farmers’ protest.
The protests against the new short-term military recruitment scheme, Agnipath, has boiled into a major issue for the government with protests now spreading to eight states despite assurances by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and the Army chief.
A person died in police firing in Telangana as mob set fire to trains and damaged properties, creating a security scare. Violence have also been reported in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh. In Bihar, the house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was attacked amid the protests. The protesters are unhappy with the changes in the new recruitment scheme, particularly the length of service and no pension provisions for those released early.
The government unveiled Agnipath on Tuesday — calling it a “transformative” scheme– for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force. The Congress, however, claims that the scheme is “controversial, carries multiple risks, subverts the long-standing traditions”, and may turn out to be a case of “penny wise and security foolish”.At least 250 people have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh over the ‘Agnipath’ protests, which has seen hordes of angry youth, carrying bamboo sticks and stones, storming railway premises across cities and small towns and laying siege to highways.

Meanwhile, protests against ‘Agnipath’ left Bihar in flames on Friday when rampaging mobs set fire to dozens of railway coaches, engines and stations and torched BJP offices, vehicles and other property, prompting the police to suspend internet services in nearly a third of the state.
Massive protests have been reported in Bihar, where angry mob set fire to dozens of trains, and damaged public properties across several cities and towns, prompting the police to suspend internet services in nearly a third of the state. The vandalism of railway properties have led to losses of over ₹ 200 crore in the state alone, according to Railway officials.
The top cop in the state, however, said that a “perception” was being created that the police has failed to take timely action to control the protests in Bihar, one of the worst-hit by Agnipath protests.”This is your perception,” Director General of Police (DGP) SK Singhal said when asked about the police’s failure to control the violence.
The house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was also not spared during the protests yesterday.Internet services have been suspended in 18 out of 38 districts in the state as the police try to quell public anger on social media.This morning, protesters clashed with police and set several vehicles on fire across several cities and towns as they tried to implement a bandh called against the contentious recruitment scheme.
At least 325 people have been arrested in the state so far. The number of FIRs registered in connection with these incidents now stood at 60, two and a half times the previous day’s figure.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs).

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